COP5725 Advanced Database Systems (Fall 2022)

Instructor: Peixiang Zhao

| Syllabus | Announcement | Schedule | Assignment | Project | Resources |

Course Description

Do you know how many Turing Awards were given to the database field? For what contributions?

The dominating relational database system, which we take for granted now, was deemed impossible to implement and difficult to use in its early days. What breakthroughs turned the rather mathematical idea into reality? What are the classic milestones that pioneered and shaped the landscape of the data management field?

Do you know that, although relational database systems are almost commodity software now, researchers are even more fascinated by general data management issues? The new challenges naturally arise in the junction of databases vs. information retrieval, structured vs. unstructured data, querying vs. searching, the Web, and many more novel contexts. What are the current topics and future agenda?

To build the essential foundation as a stepping-stone to data management research, this course exposes students to advanced database system design principles and concepts. We will broadly explore the classic as well as more recent research work. Our agenda will be two fold:
Basic Information


Textbooks and readings


COP4710: Database Systems and COP4530: Data Structures and Algorithms or equivalents courses are required. Furthermore, students should come with good programming skills. If you are not sure whether you have the right background, please contact the instructor.

Note: We will not cover programming-specific issues in this course.

Format and Activities

This course will draw (advanced) materials from the textbook as well as database literature. Students will study the materials, read classic papers and submit summaries, do a presentation in the class, complete a significant research project, and take a final exam at the end of the semester.

  • Lectures and reading: we encourage (and appreciate!) students to attend classes, because effective lectures rely on students' participation to raise questions and contribute in discussions. We will provide lecture notes and related papers before class, which will be posted on the schedule page.

    Read the textbook and papers for the required reading before lectures, and study them more carefully after class. Please note that all the required readings are fair materials for exams. These materials may not be fully covered in lectures. Our lectures are intended to motivate as well as provide a road map for your reading-- with the limited lecture time we may not be able to cover everything in the readings.

  • Questions: We encourage students discussing their questions and problems first with peers and classmates. This way, you can get immediate help and also learn to communicated "professionally" with your classmates. In any case for more thorough discussion, come to the office hours of TA's and the instructor's. Any announcement will be posted on the announcement page. Make sure to check it frequently enough to stay informed.

  • Assignment: There will be two to three written assignments spaced out over the course of the semester. All the assignments should be done individually by the students. Assignments should be submitted on the due dates via Canvas.

  • Exam: There will be a final exam held at the end of the semester.

  • Paper summaries: There will be a series of papers for careful studying, which represent our selection from both classic and state-of-the-art literature in database and data management areas. Each student will submit a one-or-two page summary for each paper in the due date during the class.

  • Paper presentation: To enrich our channels of learning, we ask our students to choose one paper related to her/his project and present it in the class. The paper should be chosen from the designated conferences/journals and published no earlier than 2012. Each student will sign up and present in the second half of the semester. Each group/student will spend 15 minutes for presentation and Q&A, and will lead and moderate discussions in the class.

  • Projects: There will be a semester-long project, which involves significant database or data related research. The project will be structured with several milestones due in the course of the semester, leading to a conference/journal-paper-style final report (and auxiliary materials, such as source code and datasets) near the end of the semester.

    Course Policies

    General Policy

    Collaboration/Academic Honesty

    All course participants must adhere to the academic honor code of FSU which is available in the student handbook. All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the university. Evey student must write his/her own homework/code (unless you are in the same group for the programming project). Showing your code or homework solutions to others is a violation of academic honesty. It is your responsibility to ensure that others cannot access your code or homework solutions. Consulting related textbooks, papers and information available on Internet for your assignment and homework is fine. However, copying a large portion of such information will be considered as academic dishonesty. If you borrow a small piece of any such information, please acknowledge that in your assignment. Please see the following web site for a complete explanation of the Academic Honor Code.

    Late Policy and Make-up Exams

    Students with Disabilities

    Americans With Disabilities Act: Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should: (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; (2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request. For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the: Student Disability Resource Center: 874 Traditions Way, 108 Student Services Building, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167. (850) 644-9566 (voice), (850) 644-8504 (TDD),,

    Grading Policy

    The course grade will break down as follows,

    Any regrading request should be submitted to the instructor or the TA(s) within one week since the graded deliverables are handed out to the students.

    Your final grade will be assigned as follows, This table indicates minimum guaranteed grades. Under certain limited circumstances (e.g., an unreasonably hard exam), we may select more generous ranges or scale the scores to adjust.

    Last updated: Jun. 6th, 2022