CS 741 Non-Traditional Databases


This course covers the management of non-relational databases, such as multimedia databases, text databases, temporal databases, or spatial databases. Each offering of the course will target a specific type of data, addressing the general topics listed in the course outline from the perspective of that type.


The course textbook will vary with each offering.


3 hours of lectures per week.


Introduction (3 hrs)

Properties of the target data type. Rationale for database management.

Applications (2 hrs)

Common applications of non-relational database management, specific to the target type.

Systems and Standards (3 hrs)

Influential systems that manage data of the target type. Relevant standards, standards organizations, and standards development.

Data Model (6 hrs)

The abstract data model and its properties. Formal query algebras or calculi for this model, if any.

Language Issues (6 hrs)

Data definition languages and data manipulation languages for the target data type. Queries and updates.

Data Storage and Indexing (4 hrs)

Techniques for physical storage of data of the target type. Mappings to the relational model, if any. Target-specific indexing techniques.

Query Processing and Optimization (6 hrs)

Algorithms for native processing of queries. Mapping to relational queries, if feasible. Query optimization techniques.

Updates and Transaction Management (3 hrs)

Semantics of updates. Support for updates in the data manipulation language and storage structures. Transaction management issues specific to the target type.

Current Events (3 hrs)

Hot topics.

Campaign Waterloo

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

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Fax: 519-885-1208

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