DIMACS Workshop on Distributed Data and Structures

May 10 - 11, 1999
Princeton University, Computer Science Department, Princeton, NJ

Yuri Breitbart, Lucent Technologies, Bell Labs, yuri@research.bell-labs.com
Sajal Das, University of North Texas, Denton, das@cs.unt.edu
Nicola Santoro, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, nicola.santoro@carleton.ca
Peter Widmayer, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, widmayer@inf.ethz.ch
Presented under the auspices of the DIMACS Special Year on Massive Data Sets.

Currently, the research on distributed data structures is carried out in many fields, from parallel systems to distributed computing, from AI to GIS. Their systematic design and analysis has just started: in the database literature, dynamic file structures for distributed object management have attracted some attention, and in the algorithms literature, data structures have been studied from a complexity oriented point of view. However, this research is mostly "hidden", relegated to the side of each field, obscured by the weight of the application domain, especially in databases but also in the algorithms community. In fact, there is not even a definitive acceptance of its existence as a research field. This is surprising, especially in the light of the following two important developments.

As databases are growing steadily, applications become more and more demanding, and distributed computer systems are becoming rather easily available, the problem of how to efficiently maintain large datasets gains importance. An important aspect of this problem is the design, implementation, and operation of a data structure in a distributed system.

At the same time, in the constantly expanding net-centric universe, an increasing amount of data is available, distributed among sites. The structuring of the data for accessing, manipulation and processing is a crucial task which can ultimately affect the performance, integrity and usefulness of the entire system.

These two developments bring the research on distributed data and structures at the forefront. The absence of a specific focus on this subject is an anomaly in the status of the current research efforts; at the same time, this situation opens an exceptional opportunity for researchers.

This workshop is intended to bring together application oriented developers and theoretical researchers concerned with the maintenance of distributed data and the organization of the interaction between the computing nodes. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

A limited number of travel support grants are available.
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Document last modified on April 6, 1999.