Victor Vianu

University of California, San Diego

Logic as a Query Language: from Frege to XML

Abstract: The database area is an important area of computer science concerned with storing, querying and updating large amounts of data. Logic and databases have been intimately connected since the birth of database systems in the early 1970's. Their relationship is an unqualified success story: indeed, first-order logic (FO) lies at the core of modern database systems, and the standard query languages such as Structured Query Language (SQL) and Query-By-Example (QBE) are syntactic variants of FO. More powerful query languages are based on extensions of FO with recursion, and are reminiscent of the well-known fixpoint queries studied in finite-model theory. A similar story is unfolding again in the context of Web data: once more, logic plays a central role in providing much-needed foundations, this time for XML schema and query languages. The impact of logic on databases is one of the most striking examples of the effectiveness of logic in computer science.

Bio: Victor Vianu received his PhD in Computer Science from USC in 1983. Since then, he has been on the faculty at UC San Diego and is now Professor of Computer Science. His interests include database theory, logic and complexity, and Web data. His most recent research focuses on static analysis of XML queries, specification and verification of ecommerce protocols, and spatial databases. Vianu's publications include over 60 refereed research articles and a graduate textbook on database theory. He has given numerous invited talks, is a member of several editorial boards, and served as General Chair of SIGMOD and Program Chair of the PODS and ICDT conferences.