CMSC724: Database Management Systems

Prof. Amol Deshpande;    CSIC 2120;    Tue-Thur 11:00am-12:15pm

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Office Hours:

AVW 3221; Tuesday 1:30-2:30pm or by appointment.


Bhargav Kanagal; Office hours: Wednesday 2-3pm or by appointment; AVW 3220.


Class forum:

We will use a forum for general announcements, to ask/answer questions about the projects/assignments etc. You are required to read the forum on a regular basis. Also, the forum should be the first resort for asking any (non-private) questions: CMSC 724 Forum. The forum is set to be a private forum, so you must join the group "CMSC 724 Spring 2011" before you can post in it. To join the group, follow the instructions at: Joining a Group.


This course covers advanced topics in Database Management systems, with a blend of classic and ongoing research. We will cover some of the classic papers in the area in the first half, and focus on more recent work in the second half. About 3/4th of the class will be presentations by me, though I expect these to be heavily interactive.

Textbook: Readings in Database Systems, by Hellerstein and Stonebraker, MIT Press, 4th Edition, 2004.

List of the papers in the book. This is a compilation of papers in the Database area, but also contains some very nice overview chapters at the beginning. The papers themselves are mostly available on the web, but the overview chapters and other material from the book are not; I would strongly encourage that you get a copy of this book. About 2/3rd of the class will be from the book, and the rest of the class will be on recent papers from major DB conferences.

The course counts towards the Database area's requirements for PhD core, MS comps, and MS coursework.

Course Grading:

The grading will be based on class participation and paper critiques (10%), two exams + 4 homeworks/assignments (50%), class presentation (10%), and a class project (30%). More details on the assignments tab.


CMSC 424 or equivalent.


Following the structure of the textbook, here is a "rough" list of the topics we will cover in the class; this list will be finalized, and most likely changed, as we go along. The list of papers at the book webpage.
  • Data models and DBMS architecture: Chapters from the book.
  • Query processing: First four papers and 2-3 more.
  • Data storage and access methods: Papers from the book.
  • Transaction management: 4-5 of the papers from the book.
  • Extensible systems: [Stonebraker'86].
  • Database evolution: [Chaudhuri'98], [Bernstein'03].
  • Data warehousing: 2-3 papers from the book TBD.
  • Data mining: [Agrawal'94], [Zhang'94], maybe 2-3 more.
  • Web services and databases: TBD.
  • Data streams, adaptive query processing: TBD.
  • Probabilistic, and uncertain databases: TBD.
  • Sensor network data management: TBD.