Robertson and his colleagues address the continuing problem of mismatch between information, as images of the real world, and data, as database representations of these images. The traditional solution to this mismatch has been the use of professionals knowledgeable about both environments to span over the mismatch. However, the growth of end-user computing, by eliminating the intervening professionals, makes the mismatch problem much more severe. Therefore Robertson and his colleagues are conceptualizing, designing, and implementing database tools able to represent and to present the real world more meaningfully. But database technology will not by itself solve the mismatch problem, for the data models of the real world will continue to evolve in scope and complexity. Therefore they also continue to explore "significant abstractions" which facilitate the development and representation of data models and the querying and manipulation capabilities within the models.

Specific accomplishments include:

  • developing an information theoretic model that completely generalizes functional and multivalued dependencies, including approximate dependencies of various sorts
  • applying approximate dependency concepts to yield new approaches to query optimization
  • developed simple, clean extensions to SQL and relational algebra which allow for querying metadata directly along with the data
  • developed a general model of magnification based on a magnification field placed on top of an image, achieving "data-driven magnification"
  • developed a general architecture for database visualization which clearly modularizes the technical and user interface aspects, with particular techniques for dealing with non-numeric data
  • developed a formal model for enterprise architecture frameworks; these models are being used in the development of international enterprise architecture frameworks
Database systems, theory of computation, computational complexity, software engineering.
Computer-Aided Design, Computer Applications, Computer Education/Literacy, Computer Systems Analysis, Computer Theory, Database Design & Development, Database Theory, Datamining, Developing/Underdeveloped Nations, Enterprise Modeling, File Organization/Computers, Information Modeling, Information Science/Systems, Software Engineering, Software Engineering Education
PhD, 1970
computer science computer applications computer systems analysis computer theory software engineering