Umeshwar Dayal


2010 SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award

Dr. Umeshwar Dayal is the recipient of the 2010 SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovation Award for a succession of pioneering, influential contributions in distributed heterogeneous databases, high-performance active databases, generalized transitive closure, transaction models for long-running activities, and business process discovery, among other topics.

Details: Umeshwar Dayal has a track record of 30 years of research accomplishments in data management and has made a succession of fundamental contributions to the field.  His research in the mid-1980’s on Multibase, the world’s first large-scale heterogeneous distributed database system, paved the way for research over the past two decades at universities and industrial research labs (HP Labs, IBM Research, and elsewhere) in data integration and federated databases.  PROBE, one of the first extensible database management systems,  made significant contributions to the field in several areas, including object and semantic data modeling, spatial, temporal and recursive query processing, and system architecture.  HiPAC was one of the leading active database systems of its time, and the only one to focus on the needs of real-time applications, resulting in an innovative transaction model. The event-condition-action (ECA) rule model introduced in HiPAC has now been widely adopted in reactive computing systems, complex-event-processing systems, and distributed middleware.

Dayal also has significant results in query-processing research, with particularly strong contributions to the processing of multi-database queries, spatial queries, and recursive queries. The approach described in his VLDB 1987 paper on unnesting SQL queries was later adopted in at least five commercial products. In addition, Dayal performed pioneering work in long-duration transactions, business-process management, and database design. In particular, he pioneered the field of business-process intelligence, which combines data warehousing, data mining, analytics and optimization techniques to monitor, control, analyze, and optimize business processes.

Over 160 research papers and over 25 patents testify to Dayal’s innovation and productivity. In 2001, he received the prestigious 10-year best paper award from VLDB for his paper on a transactional model for long-running activities. He is an HP Fellow, recognized for career contributions that “caused substantial change” in the state of the art while also improving HP products.  In addition to his many innovative technical contributions, he has a distinguished record of service to our community, as a member of the editorial board of major journals (including ACM TODS and VLDB), chairing conferences (including SIGMOD, VLDB and ICDE), serving on boards and steering committees (VLDB, IEEE TC on Electronic Commerce, SIAM International Conference on Data Mining among them), and mentoring junior colleagues and young researchers.