Database Ergalics: Examining Suboptimality

Richard Snodgrass, University of Arizona

Friday, January 25, 2013
EBII 3211 — NCSU Centennial Campus
(Directions to Centennial campus)

This talk is part of the Taming the Data invited-speaker series, held in the Department of Computer Science at NC State University.

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Talk abstract:

In this talk I apply the methodology of ergalics (the science of computing) to database management systems, by articulating a model of database suboptimality: when a DBMS picks the wrong query execution plan. Along the way, I develop a protocol for accurately measuring query time, a surprisingly difficult task. The goal is to make the case that computer science integrates three equally ascendant perspectives: mathematics, science, and engineering. I’ll look at how these three perspectives interact and the sources of endurance of ergalic theories.

About the speaker:

Richard T. Snodgrass joined the University of Arizona in 1989, where he is a Professor of Computer Science. He holds a B.A. degree in Physics from Carleton College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. He is an ACM Fellow.

Rick’s research foci are ergalics, compliant databases, and temporal databases.

Rick was Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Database Systems from 2001 to 2007, was ACM SIGMOD Chair from 1997 to 2001, and has chaired the ACM Publications Board, the ACM History Committee, the ACM SIG Governing Board Portal Committee, the ACM Outstanding Award Committee, and the program committees for SIGMOD and VLDB. His web page is at

This invited-speaker series has been made possible thanks to generous support from:

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