Scientific data commonly:
- Comes in large volumes
- Is machine-generated
- Is augmented by synthetic and/or derived data
- Has a spatial and/or temporal structure
In those respects, it is akin to some of the hottest areas for big data analytics, including:
- Investment trade data – big, partly machine generated, augmented (often), temporal
- Web/network log data – big, machine-generated, post-processed into derived form, temporal
- Marketing analytic data – big, post-processed into derived form
- Genomic data
So when Jacek Becla started the XLDB conferences on the premise that scientific and big data analytic challenges have a lot in common, he had a point. There are several tough database problems that the science-focused folks have taken the leading in thinking about, but which are soon going to matter to the commercial world as well. And that’s one of two big reasons why you should consider participating in XLDB4, October 6-7, at the SLAC facility in Menlo Park, CA, as an attendee, sponsor, or both.
The other big reason is that it is important for the world that XLDB succeed. Computer technology to analyze global warming is lacking; better database technology is one of the ways it could improve. Database technology also has important potential contributions to make in medical research and other worthy endeavors, and in a lot of purer science too (Jacek himself is an astronomy guy).
Other reasons to get involved with XLDB4 include:
- It doesn’t cost much. The whole thing is done in academic conference dollar amounts, with low attendance fees, the venue use probably donated by SLAC, and (I would guess) low sponsorship fees as well.
- It’s fun. I think I attended more sessions in two days at XLDB3 than at the all the other conferences I went to last year combined.
All in all, I intend to spend three whole days attending conference sessions that week, which is something I almost never do. But it’s for my two favorite causes – scientific data management and liberty/privacy. Stayed tuned for news on the latter front soon.
- The XLDB4 conference web site
- My original post on issues in scientific management, most of which will be discussed at XLDB4