Alvin Cheung (EECS) is making web applications more efficient

October 2, 2012

Most major websites these days maintain huge databases: Shopping sites have databases of inventory and customer ratings, travel sites have databases of seat availability on flights, and social-networking sites have databases of photos and comments. Almost any transaction on any of these sites requires multiple database queries, which can slow response time. At the 38th International Conference on Very Large Databases — the premier database conference — researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory presented a new system that automatically streamlines websites’ database access patterns, making the sites up to three times as fast. And where other systems that promise similar speedups require the mastery of special-purpose programming languages, the MIT system, called Pyxis, works with the types of languages already favored by Web developers. Alvin Cheung, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), is first author on the paper. He’s joined by his advisor, EECS professor Sam Madden, and by Owen Arden and Andrew Myers of Cornell University’s Department of Computer Science. Continue reading the article on MIT newsphoto by Christine Daniloff

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