Thursday, September 27, 2007

Web 2.0 Panel

This post is an experiment. We're holding a panel at VLDB 2007 on Web 2.0 and Databases. What are the opportunities for database research?

Our panelists are Sihem Amer-Yahia, Gerhard Weikum, a Donald Kossmann lookalike, Volker Markl, Anhai Doan and myself.

Given that the topic is Web 2.0, we thought the audience should post comments and opinions throughout the panel. Feel free to say anything. We'll monitor the blog during the panel and highlight your comments.

Comment away!

46 comments:

Lukas said...

A first comment

Haggai said...

A second comment..to double check the Web 2.0 application :-)

tibbetts said...

VLDB needs freebase invites

Anonymous said...

Why don't we forget about Web 2.0 and 3.0, and just define Web 4.0!

tibbetts said...

This discussion seems focused on what Web 2.0 is, which seems a bit behind the curve. Of course, some of it is quite entertaining.

There are a great number of problems with web 2.0 and databases, a lot of them appeared in Werner Vogels's keynote. Scalability, availability, new workloadds, distributed and disconnected operation, and rapid evolution of applications, are all the critical problems of the web.

Working under the hood might not be the exciting stuff that is discussed in the media, but there is a lot of innovative data management work to be done under the hood.

Anonymous said...

We should distinguish two issues:

- Building Web 2.0 application in the sense represented by the VLDB keynote by Werner Vogels.

- Integrating and querying data generated by Web 2.0 applications as addressed by all panelists.

Felix

Anonymous said...

will you guys open "The Web 2.0 Column"?

Anonymous said...

The issues of heavy load and dying databases could also be from the fundamentally different interaction paradigms in web 2.0. We have moved from a "confirm-act" style to a "act-undo" paradigm. Gmail is a good example of this,where everything has an undo button. In terms of databases, this changes the game, where rollbacks were not considered the common case.

Xiang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Xiang said...

Does data integration fail in Web 2.0


Heterogeneity dominates the world of Web 2.0, which is most probably due to the fact that contents are contributed by autonomous users. To make things worse, unstructured data is pervasive.

The conventional problems we deal with in data integration are mainly based on structured data with explicit schemas. At first glance we might assert the inadequacy of metadata management approaches over web 2.0. Nevertheless, it is not the problem of this approach itself, but a problem of the fragile current methods, which cannot handle schema adaption/revision and require a lot of manual work of building, tuning, and maintaining mappings.

From my point of view, the unstructured characteristic of web 2.0 may be the main obstacle of applying metadata management approaches. If structures can be somehow extracted from the data on Web 2.0, what remain in front of us are automatic generation of mappings, automatically maintaining mappings. The solution should be automatic in the sense that when data and/or schemas change, the system does not need (too much) manual tuning.

Anonymous said...

I attended today's panel. I have following remarks:
Most of the issues dicussed are already being addressed by the Semantic Web community for many years now, and they do have "some" progress on these. It appears to me like reinventing the wheel. Why the community is so reluctant to actively collaborate with the SemWeb community.

Shuaib Karim (IFS TU Wien)

Sebastian said...

Web 2.0 is cool......

so here is a link to a youtube video of Gerhard's panel talk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RPTqfjBE2A

Carlo Sartiani said...

This post reflects some discussion I held with colleagues during the VLDB lunch after the Web 2.0 panel.

I believe there are two distinct aspects about Web 2.0 and databases: a technology aspect and a social aspect.

From a technology point of view, large Web 2.0 applications and communities are an instance of extremely scalable systems. As pointed out in the Amazon CIO's keynote, database systems are just not scalable enough to fit the needs of global-scale systems. Probably we must design new families of data management systems, that relax some standard properties of current DBMSs in favor of scalability and availability.

From a social point of view, Web 2.0 applications allow any user to contribute her own data to the community, without being a computer science expert. These applications are widely used not only because, as pointed in the panel, digital cameras, mobile phones, and PCs are now commodities, but also because these applications are easy to use. No particular computer science expertise is needed for creating a blog or a Flickr album.
On the contrary, database systems are still thinked for trained people. For instance, if my baker wanted to define her own database for managing clients, sales, etc, she should hire someone able to design a database schema and to implement some graphical applications.
In my humble opinion, this is the big difference between the evolution of the Web and the evolution of database systems. Even though data management needs of common people are increasing, the interaction of users with database systems did not really evolve in the last ten years, hence making database systems too hard to be used by common people.

As a final (and very personal) consideration, it seems to me that the birth of the Web (and its evolutions) made the database community loose its role of front-runner in the data management technology. The recurring pattern is that new technologies emerge somewhere, and, when their diffusion increasingly grows, we awke and try to adapt them to databases. This happened with Web 1.0 and with p2p systems, and it will probably happen with Web 2.0.

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Anonymous said...

Alon,

Before we turn to Web x.0 maybe we should improve current spam detections on blogs using Web 1.0 inovations? ;-)

Look how much spam your blog get.

Haggai