Monday, March 09, 2015
12:00 PM
Computer Studies Building, Room 209
Sudeepa Roy
University of Washington
Taming the Big Data Elephant with Query Explanations
In recent years, the availability of big data has resulted in a growing number of users from a variety of backgrounds interested in identifying and interpreting the general trends and anomalies of large datasets. This presents an imminent requirement of sophisticated data analysis tools that can provide qualitative information based on query answers on such datasets. In this talk, I will describe my current research on developing a principled framework for explaining query answers in terms of intervention (explanations are changes in the database that change the observed query answers). I will present our solutions to core challenges in this task such as obtaining concise descriptions of explanations, handling inherent dependencies of database tuples, and achieving real-time efficiency in large explanation spaces. Then, I will briefly talk about my research in the areas of probabilistic databases, provenance, information extraction, and crowd sourcing. The unifying theme of this research is to address defining characteristics of modern datasets: uncertainty, unreliability, lack of structure, and the effects of human participation. I will conclude with my long-term vision of incorporating techniques to handle these challenges in the generic data explanation framework.

Sudeepa Roy is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Computer Science at the University of Washington. Her current research focuses on theory and applications of causality/explanations in databases. She has also worked on provenance in databases and workflows, probabilistic databases, information extraction, and crowd sourcing. During her doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania, she was a recipient of the Google PhD Fellowship in structured data.