Current postgraduate taught students
COMP60732: Advanced Database Management Systems (2011-2012)
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.
|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.|
Week 1Architecture, Components: The Classical Case and Variations 
The Relational Case: Data Models, Databases, Languages 
Query Processing (1): Overview, Equivalence-Based Rewriting 
Week 2Query Processing (2): Algorithms, Evaluation Strategies, Cost-Based Optimization 
Parallel DBMSs 
Week 3Distributed DBMSs and Dataspaces 
Week 4Massively-Parallel/Massively-Distributed Data Processing 
NoSQL and Cloud Databases 
Week 5Stream Data Management 
Sensor Network Data Management 
Additional InformationAdditional information, including details of assessed coursework can be found at the course unit webpage (http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~alvaro/teaching/DB).
CourseworkThere 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.
Special ResourcesNo 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.
Most of the reading material comes in the form of research papers. These vary for (and are only decided upon closer to the teaching period in which the course unit is taught. Specific information, per academic year, can be found at the COMP60732 website.
The course unit focusses on DBMSs as software systems. It therefore assumes a good understanding of undergraduate-level material on database languages, database design and database application programming. The knowledge assumed by this course unit can be found in good undergraduate textbooks (see the COMP60732 website for suggestions).