The (sorry) State of Graph Database Systems

Peter Boncz

This week we will not have a DSDSD. We do have a good recommendation for an interesting keynote at EDBT! The conference will take place online, and registration is free:

Graph data management and analytics has been one of the hottest topics at database conferences, and continues to be popular. Many graph database systems, originally managing RDF data, but increasingly those catering for the Property Graph model, have appeared and captured a growing niche of the data management market. After a decade of this trend, one would hope for mature technology, but this keynote will point out a number of weaknesses across the board. But there is also reason for optimism, in terms of convergence of functionality and technical and algorithmic improvements. Spurring this maturation of graph technology is one of the main goals of LDBC (, an academic and industry non-profit organisation that our community has produced. This keynote will describe the current landscape of graph database systems, including its challenges and opportunities. It will provide an update on multi-pronged efforts to standardise graph database functionality, in which ! LDBC collaborates with ISO, and outline the current understanding of the main technical ingredients of future graph data systems architecture.

Peter Boncz holds appointments as tenured researcher at CWI and professor at VU University Amsterdam. His academic background is in database architecture, with the early column-store MonetDB the outcome of his PhD. MonetDB later won the 2016 ACM SIGMOD systems award. He has a track record in bridging the gap between academia and commercial application. In 2008 he co-founded Vectorwise around the analytical database system by the same name which pioneered vectorized query execution. He is co-recipient of the 2009 VLDB 10 Years Best Paper Award, and in 2013 became a Fellow at TU Munich on receiving the Humboldt Research Award for his research on database architecture. In the past decade, his work in graph data management has focused on the Linked Database Benchmark Council (LDBC), which he co-founded in 2013 and still chairs. He also co-founded the SIGMOD workshops DAMON and GRADES, the latter themed on graph data management. His most recent new activity is in advising the new! CWI startup around DuckDB (