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Department of Computer Science - University of Cyprus

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Colloquium Coordinator: Demetris Zeinalipour

Colloquium: A Wakeup Call: Databases in an Untrusted Universe, Prof. Amr El Abbadi (University of California - Santa Barbara, USA), Thursday, November 14, 2019, 09:15-10:15 EET.

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Cyprus cordially invites you to the Colloquium entitled:

A Wakeup Call: Databases in an Untrusted Universe


Speaker: Prof. Amr El Abbadi
Affiliation: University of California - Santa Barbara, USA
Category: Colloquium
Location: Amphitheater 012, 'Stelios Ioannou' Library, University of Cyprus (directions)
Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019
Time: 09:15-10:15 EET
Host: Dr. Demetris Zeinalipour (dzeina-AT-cs.ucy.ac.cy)
URL: https://www.cs.ucy.ac.cy/colloquium/index.php#cs.ucy.2019.abbadi

Once upon a time databases were structured, one size fit all and they resided on machines that were trustworthy and even when they failed, they simply crashed. This era has come and gone as eloquently stated by Mike Stonebraker. We now have key-value stores, graph databases, text databases, and a myriad of unstructured data repositories. However, we, as a database community still cling to our 20th century belief that databases always reside on trustworthy, honest servers. This notion has been challenged and abandoned by many other Computer Science communities, most notably the security and the distributed systems communities. The rise of the cloud computing paradigm as well as the rapid popularity of blockchains demand a rethinking of our naïve, comfortable beliefs in an ideal benign infrastructure. In the cloud, clients store their sensitive data in remote servers owned and operated by cloud providers. The Security and Crypto Communities have made significant inroads to protect both data and access privacy from malicious untrusted storage providers using encryption and oblivious data stores. The Distributed Systems and the Systems Communities have developed consensus protocols to ensure the fault-tolerant maintenance of data residing on untrusted, malicious infrastructure. However, these solutions face significant scalability and performance challenges when incorporated in large scale data repositories. Novel database design needs to directly address the natural tension between performance, fault-tolerance and trustworthiness. This is a perfect setting for the database community to lead and guide. In this talk, I will discuss the state of the art in terms of data management in malicious, untrusted settings, its limitations and potential approaches to mitigate these shortcomings. As examples, I will use cloud and distributed databases that reside on untrustworthy malicious infrastructure and discuss specific approaches for standard database problems like commitment and replication. I will also explore blockchains, which can be viewed as asset management databases in untrusted infrastructures.

Short Bio:
Amr El Abbadi is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his B. Eng. from Alexandria University, Egypt, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His research interests are in the fields of fault-tolerant distributed systems and databases, focusing recently on Cloud data management and blockchain based systems. Prof. El Abbadi is an ACM Fellow, AAAS Fellow, and IEEE Fellow. He was Chair of the Computer Science Department at UCSB from 2007 to 2011. He has served as a journal editor for several database journals, including, The VLDB Journal, IEEE Transactions on Computers and The Computer Journal. He has been Program Chair for multiple database and distributed systems conferences. He currently serves on the executive committee of the IEEE Technical Committee on Data Engineering (TCDE) and was a board member of the VLDB Endowment from 2002 to 2008. In 2007, Prof. El Abbadi received the UCSB Senate Outstanding Mentorship Award for his excellence in mentoring graduate students. In 2013, his student, Sudipto Das received the SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award. Prof. El Abbadi is also a co-recipient of the Test of Time Award at EDBT/ICDT 2015. He has published over 300 articles in databases and distributed systems and has supervised over 35 PhD students.

This is a joint work with Divy Agrawal, Mohammad Amiri, Sujaya Maiyya, Victor Zakhary

Multimedia File Available:
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