SciDB is an open-source analytical database oriented toward the data management needs of scientists. As such it mixes statistical and linear algebra operations with data management ones, using a natural nested multidimensional array data model. We have been working on the code for two years, most recently with the help of venture capital backing. Release 11.06 (June 2011) is downloadable from our website (SciDB.org).
This paper presents the main design decisions of SciDB. It focuses on our decisions concerning a high-level, SQL-like query language, the issues facing our query optimizer and executor and efficient storage management for arrays. The paper also discusses implementation of features not usually present in DBMSs, including version control, uncertainty and provenance.
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