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’Internet users must ask right questions for sensible response’

Kolkata, January 6: Internet users must learn to ask the right questions to get sensible responses as the pool of information is constantly evolving, said scientist Jayant R. Haritsa. The Infosys Prize 2014 in engineering and computer science was Monday awarded to Haritsa, a pioneer in the design and optimisation of database engines that form the core of modern information systems, including the material available online.

“There is too much hype over big data because they mistake cause and effect and you can get ludicrous answers just because there is a big amount of data,” Haritsa told IANS on the sidelines of the award ceremony here. He was referring to big data, massive amount of data collected over time that are difficult to alyse and handle, using common database and software techniques. This data includes e–mail messages, photos, business transactions, surveillance videos, activity logs and unstructured text from blogs and social media, as well as those information that can be collected from sensors of all varieties. Alysis of big data is used for marketing trends in business as well as in the fields of manufacturing, medicine and science.

“So as we go forward, one has to ask better questions and we (the database community) will give you much more efficient solutions to better questions,” said Haritsa, professor at the supercomputer education and research centre and chair of department of computer science and automation, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. Haritsa was awarded for his contributions to both the theory and practice of database query optimisation and processing, and for creating a thriving community of researchers and practitioners to advance the emerging information infrastructure in India. Haritsa and his team solved a 30–year–old problem of “hidden design flaws in engineering” of database systems over the course of ten years. This work impacts the way people can get fast and accurate access to relevant data queries. “This means you would get the best possible way to reach your destition in a much quicker way than going through the standard routes. The processing of these questions on databases will be done in a much better way,” he said.  (IANS)

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