Gerhard Weikum

2016 SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award

Professor Gerhard Weikum is the recipient of the 2016 SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovation Award for pioneering work on the automatic construction of large knowledge bases.

Details: Gerhard Weikum’s research spans three decades. He made major contributions on transactional and distributed systems, self-tuning database systems, data & text integration, and the automatic construction of knowledge bases.  He co-authored a comprehensive textbook on transactional systems, received the VLDB Test-of-Time Award for his work on automatic DB tuning, and is one of the creators of the Yago knowledge base. Weikum is an ACM Fellow and a member of several academies in Europe. He was president of the VLDB Endowment, and has served on various editorial boards including ACM TODS, ACM TWEB, VLDBJ and CACM,
and as PC chair of conferences like ACM SIGMOD, ICDE and CIDR.  He received the ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award, a Google Focused Research Award, and an ERC Synergy Grant.

In 2004 Weikum initiated the theme of knowledge harvesting, which later became the Yago-Naga project. Joint work with Fabian Suchanek and Gjergji Kasneci led to the first release of the Yago knowledge base in February 2007, containing millions of entities organized into hundred thousands of fine-grained semantic classes. Subsequent research added relational facts, temporal and spatial knowledge, multilingual dimensions, commonsense properties and more. The results of the Yago-Naga project have been used in numerous projects world-wide, and have inspired substantial follow-up work.

Gerhard Weikum is a Scientific Director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and also an Adjunct Professor at Saarland University, both in Saarbruecken, Germany. Earlier affiliations include MCC in Austin, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, Saarland University, and Microsoft Research in Redmond as a visiting scientist during sabbaticals. He graduated from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.