Princeton University
Computer Science Dept.

Computer Science 597D

Principles of Database and Information Systems

Andrea LaPaugh

Fall 2013

eneral Information | Schedule and Readings | Project Page | Announcements

Project Overview

The goal of the course project is to have you further explore models and/or methods of database and information systems, ideally in the context of  your research interests.  This can be done in many ways.  The project topic is of your choosing, but must be approved in advance by the course instructor.   Projects must be done individually or in pairs.

Getting a project idea. 

Ideally, your own research will generate a project idea.  Other places to look include recent proceedings of the major data management conferences. Several such conferences are listed below.  You will see that even for "database conferences", the presentations are not limited to papers on classic databases and their issues. 


For examples that say "examine" or "explore", the project should include an algorithm or protocol implementation and evaluation, a simulation and evaluation or a theoretical analysis, which may be a substantial comparative analysis.

  1. Examine the state of the art  for one of the tasks of a database system.   Some possibilities:
  2. Examine the state of the art and research issues for cluster architectures for large database or information retrieval systems, including issues such as
  3. Implement an application that requires database support with unusual requirements that add some complexity to either the conceptual model for the database or the implementation.   The unusual requirements may be in functionality, constraint maintenance, reliability or user interface.  Implement the user interface, the application interface to the database and the database. The user interface may be minimalist if the focus of the project is elsewhere.   The application should be something in which you are interested and for which you can obtain or generate a reasonable set of interactions and data for testing.  The database may use the relationa model, a "noSQL"model, an XML-based model or use some other model as long as it is not purely file access. 
  4. Database techniques and systems exist for special kinds of data, for example spatial (geometric) data and streaming data.  There are also customized information retrieval techniques for special kinds of data, for example music and images.  Your project may focus on techniques for a special kind of data.  (Are you generating special data in your research?). 
  5. Explore methods for insuring privacy in database or information systems.  Limit yourself to a certain kind of system and one or two aspects of privacy: e.g.  allowing various levels of privacy to users of a database or methods of protecting information while reporting aggregate or summary information.  

Sample projects from 2008 and 2011:


Each individual or pair must:

   1. By 5pm on Friday, Oct.  25, 2013 send email to Professor LaPaugh containing a one-paragraph description of your project.

   2. Between Dec. 2  and  Dec. 4, 2013  meet with Professor LaPaugh for 15-20 minutes to discuss project progress and issues.

   3. Submit by 5pm Tues. Jan 14, 2014 (Dean's date) a report that describes your project. This must include the goals of the project, your methodology and the results.  If it is an application implementation, you need to describe the application, your design requirements, the major implementation decisions, and your assessment of the result. If it is an experimental algorithm study, you need to describe what was implemented, the major implementation decisions, how you designed the experiments, and the experimental results.   If it is a system simulation study, you need to describe the simulation model, how was implemented, how you designed the experiments, and the experimental results.  If it is a theoretical study, you need to describe the problem, review what was known about the problem before your analysis, and give the details and the results of your theoretical analysis.  For any project that involves programming, all source code you write should be in an appendix or made accessible on the Web (Web preferred).   Reports are typically 15 pages double-spaced excluding code and large figures.

   4. After the project report is submitted and before 5pm Mon. Jan. 20, 2014 each student or pair must meet with Professor LaPaugh for a project demonstration (where applicable) and discussion.

Projects will be graded on thoroughness and depth of analysis. Difficulty will be taken into consideration. Keep in mind that evaluation is an important part of any project. Be clear on the goals of your project and how you demonstrate or measure success.

A.S. LaPaugh Tue Oct  8 14:58:59 EDT 2013