Towards a Linear Algebra Semantics for SQL


By Prof. José Nuno Oliveira, HASLab/INESC TEC & University of Minho.

Abstract. In the 1990s, J. Gray (et al.) wrote: "[...] expressing roll-up, and cross-tab queries with conventional SQL is daunting. [...] GROUP BY is an unusual relational operator [...]". E.Codd also expressed similar concerns: "[...] relational DBMS were never intended to provide [...] for data [...] consolidation [in] multi-dimensional data analysis". In this talk, these remarks are taken as motivation for proposing (typed) linear algebra as theoretical framework able to smoothly accommodate the quantitative and qualitative aspects of SQL semantics, in a unified way, amenable to interpreting SQL queries in a distributed, map-reduce style.

Keywords. Software Engineering, SQL, Formal Semantics, Linear Algebra of Programming.

About the speaker. José Nuno Oliveira is a full professor at the Informatics Department of the university of Minho and a senior research member at HASLabINESC TEC and Univ. of Minho. He graduated in electrical engineering from the Univ. of Porto and received the MSc and PhD degrees in computer science from the Univ. of Manchester, UK. Prof. Oliveira's main research interests are formal methods, algebra of programming, and functional programming. The proposed talk can be framed in his efforts to develop a linear algebra of programming applicable to quantitative formal methods in software engineering. Prof. Oliveira served on the PC of almost 50 conferences and workshops in his field of study and co-chaired some of them. He is also a member of IFIP WG2.1 and of the FME association.


Address:  University of Minho, Gualtar campus, Braga, Portugal.

Building. Departamento de Informatica, Building 07.

Coffee session: at 1:30PM-2PM, Sala de Estar, 4th floor.

Talks session: at 2PM-3PM, Sala de Estar, 4th floor.