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Cafe DSL/Centre for Oncology Informatics Seminar

January 7 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Logic for Database Systems Implementation


Professor David Toman, Univ. of Waterloo, Canada


An important part of database technology is the requirement that only a logical appreciation of data is necessary on the part of application developers. This allows the formulating queries (and update requests) without information relating to concrete data sources and their low-level interfaces.

A fundamental problem—called query compilation–must therefore be addressed by such systems, the problem of translating user requests over purely conceptual and domain specific ways of understanding of data, commonly called logical designs, to efficient executable programs, called query plans, responsible for evaluating the requests by accessing various concrete data sources through their low-level often iterator-based interfaces. An appreciation of the concrete data sources, their interfaces, and how such capabilities relate to logical design is in turn called a physical design.

In the talk we explore how standard KR approaches, such as ODBA-style querying, relate to the above problem and how KR (and Logic at large) techniques can serve as a cornerstone to a comprehensive solution to the query compilation problem. We (briefly) discuss range of topics from adaptations of theorem-proving techniques to low-level query optimizations, commonly considered beyond the reach of logical approaches to query compilation, and conclude with a list of interesting research topics.

Speaker Bio

Professor David Toman is a faculty member of the Cheriton School of Computer Science’s Data Systems Group. His research focuses on logic-based foundations of knowledge representation with applications to information systems and databases. He has designed several decidable knowledge representation languages based on description logics and developed efficient algorithms for ontology-based query answering. He is the recipient (with co-authors) of Ray Reiter Prizes in 2010 and 2016.

Professor Toman received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Masaryk University in the Czech Republic in 1992 and his PhD in computer science from Kansas State University in 1996. After graduation, he was a NATO/NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto and then joined the Department of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo in 1998. He was also a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Bolzano and TU Dresden as a part of the EU’s Erasmus Mundus Computational Logic Programme.


Building 6 Room 105
SMART Infrastructure Facility | University of Wollongong
Wollongong, NSW Australia
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