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Welcome to the DTIM blog

Posted on February 9th, 2016 in Miscellanea by Oscar Romero

Welcome to the DTIM research group website! and specifically to the research group blog.

I will inaugurate this blog with an entry about how this group started, grew and consolidated itself. Born from the Dept. of Service Engineering and Information Systems (ESSI) at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, it has its roots in the previous database groups from the same department (that can be traced back to the database groups in the Computer Science department from the same university).

In 2010, after finishing my PhD thesis, we were just two people researching on Decision Support Systems (specifically on Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing). Nowadays, only 6 years later, we are 3 senior researchers, 8 home PhD researchers, 5 host PhD students, 6 MSc students and 2 BSc students.

The growth of the team results from the convergence of two main European projects: The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Information Technologies for Business Intelligence (IT4BI) and the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Programme in Information Technologies for Business Intelligence - Doctorate College (IT4BI-DC).

The two international consortia behind these programs strengthened the research ties that the group already had with other universities and internationalised the group. These collaborations also shifted the research focus of the group. Back to 2010, we specialised in the (semi-)automatic design of data warehouses (i.e., the integrated multidimensional schema and the ETL flows populating it with data from the available sources) given a set of data sources and information requirements that could be expressed as queries. Since then, we have spanned through other areas and currently we have additional research lines in non-relational database design and automation (also known as NOSQL; specifically on deploying new methods and techniques to automate data management tasks), Big Data ecosystems (in the presence of high-throughput fast data -also known as data streams-, highly heterogeneous -typically non-structured or semi-structured- sources and / or large volumes of data), Semantic-aware systems (using logics-based formalisms to annotate data with metadata -such as schemata and provenance information- that would enable the automation of the design and deployment of advanced data management systems) and automatic database tuning (how to systematically collect system traces to model, distribute and replicate data to exploit data location) among others.

Since then, several projects with private companies (such as HP Labs, SAP, Siemens, Atos) and supranational organisations, such as the WHO, have also strengthened our experience deploying Big Data systems and innovative data integration procedures.

In short, the group name identifies the group expertise: Database Technologies and Information Management (the DTIM research group). With a strong background in database internals, we aim at automating and democratising the access, storage and exploitation of data by (as much as possible) automatic techniques and methods that will lower the entry barriers for non-technical players.


We love data, but we do even love information and knowledge more!