CS346 - Spring 2011
Database System Implementation

Time and Place
The course meets Monday and Wednesday, 16:15-17:30, in Gates B12.

CS245 (Database System Principles) or equivalent knowledge is essential. We will assume that all students already understand basic database system implementation techniques. In this course you will put your basic knowledge into practice while learning about more advanced implementation techniques including those used in commercial products.

We recommend that all students have prior experience with Unix, and at least with the C programming language. It is preferred that students have C++ experience as well, although it is not essential. Students with no C++ experience will need to learn quickly; students with no C/Unix experience probably should not take this course.

Students may enroll in CS346 for 3, 4, or 5 units. All students are expected to do the same amount of work regardless of their number of units. CS346 is a 5-unit course in terms of work; it is offered for fewer units as a courtesy to students who have a limit.

Readings and Textbook
A few research papers will be made available on the web as suggested reading. There is no required textbook for the course, but students may wish to own a comprehensive database textbook for reference, for example:

Other textbooks such as those by Silberschatz, Korth, & Sudarshan; Ramakrishnan & Gehrke; Elmasri & Navathe; O'Neil; or Date also are sufficient. There is a copy of Garcia-Molina, Ullman, & Widom on reserve at the Math and Computer Science library.

Course Content
There will be five aspects to the course:

  1. The basic RedBase project, implemented by each student individually.
  2. An extension to RedBase, individually conceived, designed, and implemented by each student.
  3. Lectures on aspects of the RedBase project.
  4. Lectures on advanced database system implementation techniques, with an emphasis on query processing and optimization.
  5. Guest lecturers from industry describing commercial database system implementation techniques, with an emphasis on query processing and optimization.
An overview and details of the project can be found on the RedBase Project page.

Class Attendance
Class attendance is expected, and it contributes a small percentage to the final grade (see the grading breakdown below). We will take attendance at 16:20 during each class meeting. Students who leave the classroom before 17:30 or the end of lecture -- whichever is earlier -- will not be counted as attending. Each student may miss up to two classes with no penalty.

There will be two quizzes. Eligible material for the quizzes includes the project, all lectures (including guest lectures), and all papers as covered in class. The quizzes will be short, they will be open-notes, they will count for only a small percentage of the final grade (see the grading breakdown, next), and they are not meant to be difficult -- they are meant only to ensure that students have a basic understanding of the material covered in class. The dates and times for the quizzes are:

Alternate or makeup quizzes will not be given.

85% of your final grade will be based on the project, 10% on quizzes, and 5% on class participation. The complete breakdown is:

Project Part 1 15%
Project Part 2 15%
Project Part 3 15%
Project Part 4 20%
Part 5 proposal 5%
Complete demo 15%
Quiz #1 5%
Quiz #2 5%
Class participation 5%

Your programs will be graded on correctness and efficiency, as well as on descriptions of key design decisions. Details on program grading criteria and mechanisms are provided in the RedBase Logistics document.

CS 346 is not graded on a curve. It's a difficult class, and everyone who performs well (defined very roughly as ~100% attendance, ~90% of project points, ~80% of quiz points, and a solid RedBase extension) will get an A.

Students with Documented Disabilities
Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) located within the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). SDRC staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the SDRC as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066, 723-1067 TTY).

Honor Code
Under the Honor Code at Stanford, each of you is expected to submit your own work in this course: all code submitted must have been written by you. However, on many occasions when working on programs it is useful to talk with others (the instructor, the TA, or other students) about design decisions and programming strategies. Such activity is both acceptable and encouraged, but when you turn in your programs you must indicate any assistance you received. Any assistance received that is not given proper citation will be considered a violation of the Honor Code.

The project extension proposal must represent individual ideas and writing, and we discourage excessive collaboration in developing proposals. Quiz answers must be original.

The course staff will pursue aggressively all suspected cases of Honor Code violations, and they will be handled through official University channels. The course staff may employ plagiarism-detection software to ensure that programs turned in are the original work of each student.

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