SciQL, A Query Language for Science Applications

Publication Date: 
Friday, 25 March, 2011
Published in: 
1st International Array Databases Workshop
Ying Zhang, Martin Kersten, Milena Ivanova, and Niels Nes

This paper was published in Proceedings of the First International Array Databases Workshop, co-located with the EDBT/ICDT 2011 Joint Conference in Uppsala, Sweden, March 25, 2011.


Scientific applications are still poorly served by contemporary relational database systems. At best, the system provides a bridge towards an external library using user-defined functions, explicit import/export facilities or linked-in Java/C# interpreters. Time has come to rectify this with SciQL1, a SQL query language for scientific applications with arrays as first class citizens. It provides a seamless symbiosis of array-, set-, and sequence- interpretation using a clear separation of the mathematical object from its underlying implementation. A key innovation is to extend valuebased grouping in SQL:2003 with structural grouping, i.e., fixedsized and unbounded groups based on explicit relationships between their dimension attributes. It leads to a generalization of window-based query processing with wide applicability in science domains. This paper is focused on the language features, extensively illustrated with examples of its intended use.

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