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New England Database Society

Friday, March 2, 2007

sponsored by Sun Microsystems

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Beauty and the Beast:
The Theory and Practice of Information Integration

Laura Haas
IBM Almaden

Friday, March 2, 2007, 4:00 PM
Volen 101, Brandeis University

(preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 3:00 pm)


Information integration is becoming a critical problem for businesses and individuals alike. Data volumes are skyrocketing, and new sources and types of information are proliferating.  This talk briefly reviews some of the key research accomplishments in information integration (theory and systems), then describes the current state-of-the-art in commercial practice, and the challenges (still) faced by CIOs and application developers.  One critical challenge is choosing the right combination of tools and technologies to do the integration.  Although each has been studied separately, we lack a unified (and certainly, a unifying) understanding of these various approaches to integration.  Experience with a variety of integration projects suggests that we need a broader framework, perhaps even a theory, which explicitly takes into account requirements on the result of the integration, and considers the entire end-to-end integration process.

Speaker Bio:

Laura Haas is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director of Computer Science at Almaden Research Center.  Most recently, she was responsible for Information Integration Solutions (IIS) architecture in IBM's Software Group, after leading the IIS development team through its first two years.  Dr. Haas joined the development team in 2001 as manager of DB2 UDB Query Compiler development.  Previously, Dr. Haas was a research staff member and manager at IBM's Almaden Research Center for nearly twenty years.  In Research, she worked on and managed a number of exploratory projects in distributed database systems.  She is best known for her work on the Starburst query processor (from which DB2 UDB was developed), on Garlic, a system which allowed federation of heterogeneous data sources, and on Clio, the first semi-automatic tool for heterogeneous schema mapping.  Garlic technology married with DB2 UDB query processing is the basis for WebSphere Information Server's federation capabilities, while Clio capabilities are a core differentiator for the new Rational Data Architect.  Dr. Haas is an active member of the database community, serving as vice chair of ACM SIGMOD from 1989-1997, and, currently, as Vice President of  the VLDB Board of Trustees, as well as on many program committees for technical conferences.  She has received several IBM awards for Outstanding Technical Achievement, and an IBM Corporate Award for her work on federated database technology.  She is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and an ACM Fellow.

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