Bob Wall

Montana State University

Ph.D. Student, Computer Science

Office: EPS 358

Spring Semester 2013 Schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00-11:00 Research
11:00 Meet with Dr. Angryk
1:00-5:00 Research
Happy hour Research

Research Interests

Currently, I am working on a new database versioning framework. Here's the abstract from my dissertation prospectus:

Title: ScaDaVer - A Framework for Schema and Data Versioning in OLTP Databases
Managing and accommodating the evolution of database schema (the metadata describing the structure of a database) poses a number of interesting problems. Some of these problems are particularly acute in Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) databases that serve as the data store for large, extremely active data processing systems, especially in systems that use a Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model. We propose a framework to be incorporated into such databases to efficiently manage the inevitable schema evolution. This framework is based on common practices used to manage source code changes in software development. It allows administrators and users of the database to create sandboxes in which changes to the database are isolated from the main database and from other sandboxes. Schema versioning techniques are used to isolate schema changes made within sandboxes and to allow queries executed in a sandbox to retrieve data from the main database without transforming all data in the system to conform to the sandbox's schema. The framework also includes data versioning mechanisms to maintain isolation of data that is added, updated, or deleted in the sandbox. A merge facility allows changes made in a sandbox to be integrated into the main database while it is online, with minimal disruption to ongoing transaction processing. These two versioning techniques together with the merge facility create a database infrastructure that will significantly reduce the time, manpower, opportunity for errors, storage capacity, and infrastructure required to perform development, maintenance, and testing of schema and data changes against a high-volume online database.

Here is the actual prospectus.

Previously, I was working on applying a computational technique called Map Seeking Circuits (MSC) to different Natural Language Processing tasks. The first application that I was attempting is part of speech tagging and word sense disambiguation.


Book Chapters
"Generating Concept Hierarchies from User Queries." Bob Wall, Neal Richter, and Rafal A. Angryk. In Data Mining: Foundations and Practice, volume 118 of Studies in Computational Intelligence, Springer, (2008), pp. 423-441.
Refereed Proceedings
B. Wall and R. Angryk, "Minimal Data Sets vs. Synchronized Data Copies in a Schema and Data Versioning System," in Proceedings of PIKM 2011: The 4th ACM Workshop for Ph.D. Students in Information and Knowledge Management, in association with 20th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM '11), Glasgow, Scotland, Oct. 28, 2011), pp. 67-73.
B. Wall, "Research on a Schema and Data Versioning System," in Proceedings of the VLDB 2011 PhD Workshop, Seattle, WA, USA, Sep. 1, 2011, pp. 43-48.
B. Wall, N. Richter, R. Angryk, "Creating Concept Hierarchies in an Information Retrieval System," Proceeding of the 5th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM-IEEE '05), Workshop on Foundations of Semantic Oriented Data and Web Mining, Houston, TX, USA, November 2005, pp. 99-105.
Wall, Robert L., "Implementing high-order context models for statistical data compression." Thesis submitted for M.S. degree in Computer Science, Montana State University, 1994.
Wall, Robert L., "VLSI implementation of a high speed LZW data compressor." Thesis submitted for M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, Montana State University, 1991.


6,988,267 Method and device for implementing a downloadable software delivery system.
5,818,873 Single clock cycle data compressor/decompressor with a string reveral mechanism.
4,907,224 Method for transmitting data in multiple access data communications networks.

Classes Taken

Spring Semester 2006

CS 536 - Advanced Artificial Intelligence (Again)

Spring Semester 2005

CS 535 - Database Theory

CS 580 - Computational Science

MUS 280 - Recording and Computer Applications

Fall Semester 2004

CS 422 - Intro to Simulation

EE 578 - Speech Signal Processing

EE 480 - Acoustics and Audio Engineering

Spring Semester 2004

CS 515 - Analysis of Algorithms

CS 536 - Advanced Artificial Intelligence

EE 548 - Advanced Topics in Communications Systems

Fall Semester 2003

CS 550 - Advanced Design and Translation of Programming Languages

CS 436 - Artificial Intelligence

EE 565 - Parallel and Associative Processors

Outside School

I work at RightNow Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle Corp., as a software engineer currently doing database research. Most recently, I worked on the new Custom Object feature, and prior to that on their public APIs (SOAP, PHP, REST).


And here's my own home page.

Mail me at:

Last modified: Jan. 29, 2013