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2012 ACM SIGMOD Awards

Dr. Bruce Lindsay is the recipient of the SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovation Award, Dr. Marianne Winslett is the recipient of the SIGMOD Contribution Award, and "Executing SQL over Encrypted Data in the Database-Service-Provider Model" by Hakan Hacigumus, Bala Iyer, Chen Li, Sharad Mehrotra earns the SIGMOD Test-of-Time Award

On behalf of the SIGMOD 2012 Awards Committee, composed of Elisa Bertino, Peter Buneman, Umeshwar Dayal, Masaru Kitsuregawa and myself, I am pleased to announce the winners of the following SIGMOD 2012 Awards:

SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award

For innovative and highly significant contributions of enduring value to the development, understanding, or use of database systems and databases.

Dr. Bruce Lindsay is the recipient of the 2012 SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovation Award for distinguished contributions to the internals of relational database management systems.

Details: Bruce has been a leader and inventor in many of the key systems initiatives in the data management field. As a member of the original System R team, the R* project, the Starburst project, and then several content management projects, Bruce has created fundamental technologies in a broad set of database areas, including core relational databases (authorization, high performance transactions, locking and deadlock detection), extensible databases (object management, type management, production rules for query processing), distributed databases (snapshots, distributed DDL, presumed commit, presumed abort, distributed query processing), and management of unstructured data (XML, novel indexing). He thinks broadly and has uncanny intuition for the system-level issues that has led to his innovations to have lasting impact on commercial database products.

SIGMOD Contributions Award

For outstanding and sustained services to and promotion of the database field through activities such as education, conference organization, journals, standards, and research funding.

Dr. Marianne Winslett  is the recipient of the 2012 SIGMOD Contribution Award for strengthening and humanizing the database community by originating and developing the ‘Distinguished Profile in Database Research’ series.

Details: Marianne's efforts to interview a large number of senior members as well as emerging stars of our community have been nothing short of heroic. These interviews bring home to us the story of their lives including the key decision points along the way, their reflections on the state of our community, and advice to the next generation of researchers.  The transcripts and video tapes of these interviews will prove to be a treasure trove of insights for many future generations of young database researchers.

SIGMOD Test-of-Time Award

For the paper from the 2002 SIGMOD Conference that has had the most impact (research, products, methodology) over the intervening decade.

Executing SQL over Encrypted Data in the Database-Service-Provider Model

Hakan Hacigumus, Bala Iyer, Chen Li, Sharad Mehrotra

This paper from the SIGMOD 2002 Conference remarkably anticipated the world of “Database as Service” which did come about and continues to grow in importance. To get a sense of how visionary the work was, consider that this paper was published in June 2002 (and thus accepted in Jan 2002), even a couple of months before Amazon EC2 and S3 services were launched (of course, Amazon RDS and SQL Azure came much later).  The core of the paper focuses on the challenges of how to leverage cloud services while keeping some of the information (at the discretion of the enterprise/user) hidden from the service provider.  Beyond the specific algorithmic details, the key contribution is the framework: (i) introduction of a mapping function, and (ii) query splitting logic to ensure how the work can be distributed across cloud and client when some information is encrypted.  Is this framework used by enterprises today? As best as we can tell, the answer is perhaps no. But, is the framework interesting and has real possibilities of adoption and further impact and more follow-on by research community? Absolutely.  In summary, this paper is one of the early papers to foresee the world of Database as Service (before any one of us were working on that problem). The specific technical focus was dealt with reasonable depth. The impact of the technical focus has not yet been seen by the industry but this paper has the possibility of inspiring much more follow-on work/thinking (beyond 140+ citations it already has in ACM Digital Library).

Original abstract:   Rapid advances in networking and Internet technologies have fueled the emergence of the "software as a service" model for enterprise computing. Successful examples of commercially viable software services include rent-a-spreadsheet, electronic mail services, general storage services, disaster protection services. "Database as a Service" model provides users power to create, store, modify, and retrieve data from anywhere in the world, as long as they have access to the Internet. It introduces several challenges, an important issue being data privacy. It is in this context that we specifically address the issue of data privacy. There are two main privacy issues. First, the owner of the data needs to be assured that the data stored on the service-provider site is protected against data thefts from outsiders. Second, data needs to be protected even from the service providers, if the providers themselves cannot be trusted. In this paper, we focus on the second challenge. Specifically, we explore techniques to execute SQL queries over encrypted data. Our strategy is to process as much of the query as possible at the service providers' site, without having to decrypt the data. Decryption and the remainder of the query processing are performed at the client site. The paper explores an algebraic framework to split the query to minimize the computation at the client site. Results of experiments validating our approach are also presented.

The awards will be presented at the SIGMOD business meeting, scheduled at noon on May 23, 2012 ( .  The award winners have also been invited to make presentations in the special session on SIGMOD Award talks on May 24 (8:30-10:00).


Rakesh Agrawal
Chair, SIGMOD 2012 Awards Committee

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