Title: Queries over Temporal Point and Interval Algebra

Speaker: Subhadip Mitra, PhD Scholar, Department of Computer Science & Engg., IIT Kanpur, India

Time: 11:00 AM, Saturday, 11th Aug., 2012

Venue: CS102, H.R.Kadim Diwan Building

Abstract: The talk would give an introduction to Temporal point and Interval algebra, discuss various operations in these algebra and design queries over these algebra. We shall show that any typical temporal join query over these algebra is a constraint query where all the constraints are of a special kind, which we refer as Min Down Staircase constraints. These constraints are a generalization of row convex and min-closed constraints respectively. We show that arc consistency is sufficient to solve this constraint query and propose an efficient algorithm for the same.

Title: Skylines - Databases' Answer to Multiple Preferences

Speaker: Dr. Arnab Bhattacharya, Department of Computer Science & Engg., IIT Kanpur, India

Time: 4:00 PM, Friday, 7th Sept., 2012

Venue: CS101, H.R.Kadim Diwan Building

Abstract: How does one choose a "good" flight from Kolkata to Agartala? Not always is the cost the only attribute to optimize. Sometimes, for example, one may also consider ratings and amenities as important characteristics. In other words, a user looks for an overall picture of which flights are "better" in terms of preferences on multiple attributes. Databases solve this problem through what is known as a "skyline query". Formally, for each attribute of interest, there is a preference function (e.g., lesser price is preferred, more amenities is preferred, etc.), and the skyline set contains only those objects that are not "worse" from any other object for all such preferences. Intuitively, it provides the user a refined subset of objects for a more thorough examination. In this talk, I will introduce the notion of skylines and some important extensions and applications using them.

Title: Biodiversity Databases

Speaker: Suddhasheel 'Basabi' Ghosh, Researcher, Geoinformatics Laboratory, IIT Kanpur

Time: 12:00 PM, Friday, 14th Sept., 2012

Venue: CS102, H.R.Kadim Diwan Building

Abstract: Heard of the incident where someone applied for a patent on Turmeric? Do you know about the famous case of commercialization of Krating Daeng? The use of turmeric, or ginger and many other herbs have long been existent in the Indian culture, and have been a part of “Daadi Maa Ke Nuskhe.” The terrains of India have many other important medicinally or economically important plants which are currently known only to local tribal folk. Unfortunately, the practices of poaching owing to the ever increasing needs of the population are leading the deletion of these important natural resources from the terrain. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Department of Space (DOS) undertook a joint project under the name “Biodiversity Characterization at Landscape Level using Remote Sensing and GIS” with Dr. Parth S. Roy as the scientist heading the project. Along with a huge documentation of the various kinds of important species available in India, this project lead to the creation of a large national level biodiversity database and a web enabled biodiversity information system.

In this talk I will first provide a glimpse of Remote Sensing technology and terminology and a little know-how of cartography and projections. I will describe how a few motivated research scholars ventured into the extreme situations of the North East, the cold mountains of the Himalayas, and in the midst of the fiery Jarwa tribes of Andaman, equipped with a GPS, clothes and bedding equipment to collect field data. I will also describe how, in a pre-Google Earth era, map services were created and integrated with non-spatial data to create the WebGIS enable biodiversity information system. In the end, a few potential research gaps that could be address with the remote sensing datasets and the biodiversity data would be discussed. All interested are welcome!