Very Large Databases – Googzilla Being Coy

August 31, 2009

I read Technofeel’s “VLDB09 Part Two” and noted another Google head fake. Technofeel points out that Google’s paw prints were all over the conference from his point of view. MapReduce and Hadoop (an open source semi MapReduce) presentations caught his attention. In my opinion, the most interesting comment in the write up was:

Finally, I ended my visit at VLDB09 with two presentation of Google Interns about data mining to get structured result sets out of semi unstructured pages with lists and tables.

These two Google papers are important. You can get links to them from Technofeel’s article. Let me make two or three observations:

  • The use of “interns” is a way for the Google to reward bright folks while keeping the big guns off the podium. The experience of the Google Books product manager makes this use of interns prudent.
  • The content of the papers is not intern grade. When you work through the two documents, you will learn that Google has made significant advances in methods for working out issues in manipulating Google-scale structured data and discerning context.
  • The traditional world of relational databases is on a collision course with Googzilla. Big data are part of the Google core competency.

Those are some interns because their co authors are among Google’s most sophisticated researchers and academic colleagues. Technofeel’s instincts are good. He may want to check the bios of the secondary and tertiary authors of these Google papers. The interns are not the hubs on these wheels.

Stephen Arnold, August 31, 2009

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