Database engines today use the same approach to evaluate a query as they did forty years ago: convert the query into a query plan, then execute each operator individually, for example they compute a join, then another join, then do duplicate elimination.
This is, in general, theoretically suboptimal. A new class of query evaluation algorithms has emerged recently, which are proven to be "worst case optimal", meaning that they run in time no larger than the upper bound on the query's output. In this approach one first establishes an upper bound on the query's output by proving an information-theoretic inequality, then converts that proof into an optimal algorithm that computes the query.
Joint work with Mahmoud Abo Khamis and Hung Q. Ngo
Dan Suciu is a Professor in Computer Science at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995, was a principal member of the technical staff at AT&T Labs and joined the University of Washington in 2000. Suciu is conducting research in data management, with an emphasis on topics related to Big Data and data sharing, such as probabilistic data, data pricing, parallel data processing, data security. He is a co-author of two books Data on the Web: from Relations to Semistructured Data and XML, 1999, and Probabilistic Databases, 2011. He is a Fellow of the ACM, holds twelve US patents, received the best paper award in SIGMOD 2000 and ICDT 2013, the ACM PODS Alberto Mendelzon Test of Time Award in 2010 and in 2012, the 10 Year Most Influential Paper Award in ICDE 2013, the VLDB Ten Year Best Paper Award in 2014, and is a recipient of the NSF Career Award and of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. Suciu serves on the VLDB Board of Trustees, and is an associate editor for the Journal of the ACM, VLDB Journal, ACM TWEB, and Information Systems and is a past associate editor for ACM TODS and ACM TOIS.
Suciu's PhD students Gerome Miklau, Christopher Re and Paris Koutris received the ACM SIGMOD Best Dissertation Award in 2006, 2010, and 2016 respectively, and Nilesh Dalvi was a runner up in 2008.