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The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently provided additional support for the AsterixDB project with $2 million in funding split between UCI and UC Riverside. Professors Michael Carey and Chen Li in UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) will receive $1,140,000 for the grant, “Supporting and Sustaining Apache AsterixDB for the CISE Research Community,” while Professors Vassilis Tsotras and Ahmed Eldawy in UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering will receive $860,000.

The origins of this work go back a decade, to 2009, when a team of database researchers from three UC campuses (UCI, UCR and UCSD) first embarked on the NSF-funded ASTERIX research project. Their goal at the time was to improve database storage and queries by bringing parallel database technology to bear on the emerging new (at the time) world of “Big Data.” The result, now an Apache project, is the only open source parallel NoSQL database system available today. (More information about the history of the project is available in the ICDE conference paper, “AsterixDB Mid-Flight.”)

Apache AsterixDB is a highly scalable Big Data Management System (BDMS) that stores, indexes and manages large volumes of structured and/or semi-structured data. At the same time, it supports a full query language with the expressiveness of SQL and more. This grant continues Apache AsterixDB’s development as a resource for the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) research community by working on a variety of enhancements, including improved text handling and query processing, additional standard-based geospatial data support, new user-defined function support for user-provided logic, and enhanced system storage and indexing capabilities.

As noted in the grant abstract, the planned improvements will “benefit the broader public by providing a general purpose foundation for extracting high-value insights from high-volume, low-value big data in areas such as public safety and health.”

— Shani Murray