The talk was delivered by Ying Zhang at the the First International Array Databases Workshop , co-located with the EDBT/ICDT 2011 Joint Conference on March 25, 2011 in Uppsala, Sweden.
Scientific applications are still poorly served by contemporary relational database systems. At best, the system provides a bridge towards an external library using user-defined functions, explicit import/export facilities or linked-in Java/C# interpreters. Time has come to rectify this with SciQL1, a SQL query language for scientific applications with arrays as first class citizens. It provides a seamless symbiosis of array-, set-, and sequence- interpretation using a clear separation of the mathematical object from its underlying implementation. A key innovation is to extend valuebased grouping in SQL:2003 with structural grouping, i.e., fixedsized and unbounded groups based on explicit relationships between their dimension attributes. It leads to a generalization of window-based query processing with wide applicability in science domains. This paper is focused on the language features, extensively illustrated with examples of its intended use.