HSDistributed DBs

Note: this area is essentially an umbrella one that ties in many of the domains of interest to the group. This section should be read as an overview of the various environments in which I undertake research in the ADSA.

Current research in the Advanced Database Systems and Applications (ADSA) Laboratory falls under the broad category of "distributed database systems". Our primary areas of interest focus on the issues around the persistence and management of various forms of data. Traditional relational databases are of some interest but our primary focus is on "next-generation" data models such as XML data repositories, object-orientation or semantic data processing. During the past decade a substantial amount of research has been undertaken in the general area of distributed data design where we issues such as fragmentation and allocation have been considered. This work is ongoing and we are now considering how design can be applied to XML data and to mobile computing environments. However, two application environments continue to be of particular interest, to the distributed aspects of our work, and have been used as the primary motivation for much work being carried out in the ADSA..

(1) Interoperability and Open Systems
Interoperability is a major thrust for the research activities of the laboratory. Particular attention is being paid to how "objects" can be used to support an interoperable, if not an open, environment. Our goal is bridge the gap between the distributed DBMS's requirement where no autonomy exists at the local sites with the multidatabase system's desire to provide complete autonomy to all local participants by providing an objectbased bridge where each object can "act" semi-autonomously. This semi-autonomy is inherent in the object model because each object is encapsulated but each must also be managed by an external management system to ensure correct transaction execution. Our current approach is exploit various agent technologies to faciliate this bridge and some early results are positive but they have yet to appear in the literature.

(2) Mobile Computing
Mobile computing is a rapidly evolving area that is becoming of intense interest to both the academic and industrial communities. The ADSA is just beginning to investigate the data management issues faced in this new environment where the notion of distribution changes from being a problem on a static (comparatively reliable) network to one where the participants move around rapidly and the very network media itself changes while this movement occurs. Current work is aimed at design questions that exploit data semantics to ensure the most critical information required is available at the mobile device. This is particularly challenging as determining the "most critical" is extremely difficult and often varies from user to user.

If you interested in this aspect of our work and believe you are qualified to join our group, we encourage you to fill in our pre-application form. This can also be reached off the main Departmental Web Page (www.cpsc.ucalgary.ca) and following the link to "Graduate Studies". Please be sure to indicate me as a potential supervisor or I will not see your application for review.