COMP60731 Advanced Database Management Systems syllabus 2014-2015
This course unit offers an introduction to the latest, cutting-edge research outcomes in the area of database management systems (DBMSs). It starts with a brief overview of the internal architecture of traditional DBMSs, and proceeds to cover a range of advanced systems that extend that architecture to different execution environments than the classical, centralized one. The viewpoint adopted throughout is systems-oriented and research-oriented. Focus falls on the impacts on classical query processing functionality (i.e., impacts on other DBMS-provided services such as storage, concurrency and transaction management are largely ignored).
The delivery has aspects of a seminar module, i.e., the lectures, as well as the coursework, will centre around, and be driven by, research papers that will be assigned for advance reading.
There no labs with lab sheets for practicing skills on programming or design. Where available, pointers are given to implementations of the systems discussed, detailed use or exploration of tools is not an integral part of the unit as most of the technology studied only exists in the form of unstable research prototypes.
This course unit is about database management systems as systems. Therefore, it concerns itself much more with how DBMSs systems are built, and not as much with how they are used to support applications. It should appeal more to students who enjoy understanding how systems can be made to deliver advanced, challenging functionality. It is possibly less appealing to students who are more interested in how advanced technologies can be deployed, say, in businesses in response to business needs, although the course unit does attempt to explain the motivations behind the technological advances it covers.
The aim of this course unit is to survey the research landscape of advanced DBMS systems with a view to understanding how DBMS research is responding to challenges arising from new software architectures, new kinds of data resource and new computational fabrics.
- Architecture, Components: The Classical Case and Variations 
- The Relational Case: Data Models, Databases, Languages 
- Query Processing (1): Overview, Equivalence-Based Rewriting 
- Query Processing (2): Algorithms, Evaluation Strategies, Cost-Based Optimization 
- Parallel DBMSs 
- Distributed DBMSs and Dataspaces 
- Massively-Parallel/Massively-Distributed Data Processing 
- NoSQL and Cloud Databases 
- Stream Data Management 
- Sensor Network Data Management 
Additional information, including details of assessed coursework can be found at the course unit webpage (http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~alvaro/teaching/DB).
There are four weekly tests, from Week 2 onwards, covering the material taught in the previous week, including assigned readings.
There is a final report, in which students are assigned readings and are asked to exercise their critical judgements based on the knowledge acquired through the course unit.
No special resources are required, but students should note the need for them to be proficient in the tools required to produce technical reports, as this skill contributes to the coursework mark.
Time devoted to coursework outside lectures amounts to 12 hours each week for five weeks, plus 20 hours for the final coursework.
- Assessment written exam (2 hours)
- Lectures (26 hours)
- Practical classes & workshops (10 hours)
- Analytical skills
- Problem solving
|Programme outcome||Unit learning outcomes||Assessment|
|A1||Have acquired knowledge of cutting-edge, research-led DBMS research.|
|A2 A3||Be able to compare and contrast the variety of approaches used in DBMS research to address the challenges raised by new software architectures, new kinds of data resource and new computational fabrics.|
|B1||Be able to identify, understand and articulate the shortcomings of current DBMS research and to suggest, in broad terms, possible strategies and approaches that might be used to overcome them.|
COMP60731 does not have a specified reading list.
Course unit materials
Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.