Talk: Playing Games with Databases

Speaker: Prof. Johannes Gehrke (Cornell University, USA)
Place: S2 02|C110
Scalability is a fundamental problem in the development of computer games and massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). Players always demand more --- more polygons, more physics particles, more interesting AI behavior, more monsters, more simultaneous players and interactions, and larger virtual worlds.
Most game developers think of databases as persistence solutions, designed to store and read game state. But the advantages of database systems go way beyond persistence.  Database research has dealt with the question of efficiently processing declarative languages, and the resulting research questions have touched many areas of computer science.
In this talk, I will show how the idea of declarative processing from databases can be applied to computer games and simulations.  I will then discuss how we can use ideas from optimistic concurrency control to scale interactions between players in MMOs, and I will conclude by describing how we can use these techniques to build elastic transaction processing infrastructure for the cloud.
Short Biography
Johannes Gehrke is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University. Johannes' research interests are in the areas of database systems, data mining, data privacy, and applications of database and data mining technology to marketing and the sciences. Johannes has received a National Science Foundation Career Award, an Arthur P. Sloan Fellowship, an IBM Faculty Award, the Cornell College of Engineering James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award, the Cornell University Provost's Award for Distinguished Scholarship, a Humboldt Research Award, and the 2011 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award. He is the author of numerous publications on data mining and database systems, and he co-authored the undergraduate textbook Database Management Systems (McGrawHill (2002), currently in its third edition), used at universities all over the world. Johannes is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Tromsø in Norway.
Johannes was co-Chair of the 2003 ACM SIGKDD Cup, Program co-Chair of the 2004 ACM International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2004), Program Chair of the 33rd International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB 2007), and Program co-Chair of the 28th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE 2012). From 2007 to 2008, he was Chief Scientist at FAST, A Microsoft Subsidiary. At Cornell, Johannes teaches in the Department of Computer Science, the Information Science Program, and in the Johnson Graduate School of Management. He has extensive industry experience as technical advisor and consultant.
Organizer: Prof. A. Buchmann