Computing Research Institute

Conte Distinguished Lecture

October 14 @ 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM - LWSN 1142

Title: Bringing (Web) Databases to the Masses

Though search on the World-Wide Web has focused mostly on unstructured text, there is an increasing amount of structured data on the Web and growing interest in harnessing such data. Moreover, structured data is starting to play a greater role in many of the social movements enabled by the Web, such as citizen participation in government. I will describe several current projects at Google whose overall goal is enable people to create and share structured data on the Web and to leverage structured data in Web search.

I will describe our system for crawling millions of “deep-web” sites, that offer access to high-quality data through HTML forms and the WebTables and Octopus Systems that leverage structured data in HTML tables and lists on the surface web and enable users to piece together multiple data sets. Finally, I’ll describe Fusion Tables, a recently launched data-management service that lets users create and visualize structured and easily and emphasizes the ability to collaborate with other data owners.

Alon Halevy heads the Structured Data Management Research group at Google. Prior to that, he was a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he conducted research on data integration, XML, personal information management, and peer-to-peer databases. In 1999, Dr. Halevy co-founded Nimble Technology, one of the first companies in the Enterprise Information Integration space, and in 2004, Dr. Halevy founded Transformic Inc., a company for that created search engines for the deep web, which was acquired by Google. Dr. Halevy is a Fellow of the ACM, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2000, and was a Sloan Fellow (1999-2000). In 2006 he received the 10-year VLDB Best Paper Award for his work on the Information Manifold System. He received his Ph.D in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1993.

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