Database Research Group

WSI – Database Systems Research Group

Programming Languages for Big Data

Oct 21, 2015 — Torsten Grust

Programming Languages for Big Data

A Special Issue of the Journal of Functional Programming

Call for Papers

Ideas from programming languages play an important role in a range of advanced applications of databases, in database system implementation, distributed programming (MapReduce), streaming computation, and high-performance (GPU/multicore) computation. This creative research area is broadening into a subfield of data-centric computation. Although the interaction of databases and programming has a long history (the 15th biennial Database Programming Languages symposium was held in 2015), there has been a recent renewal of and broadening of interest in programming language techniques for dealing with data from several quarters in the last few years, including workshops at Microsoft Research (RADICAL 2010), ICFP (XLDI 2012), POPL (DDFP 2013, DCM 2014) and a Dagstuhl Seminar on Programming Languages for Big Data (December 2014). To recognise and encourage the publication of mature research contributions in this area, a special issue of the Journal of Functional Programming (JFP) will be devoted to the same theme.


Full-length, archival-quality submissions are solicited on topics including both theoretical and practical contributions to functionally-inspired or declarative techniques for databases, data analysis, or high-performance computation. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Data-Centric Programming Abstractions and Optimisations (Comprehensions, Monads);
  • Emerging and Nontraditional Data Models;
  • Language-Integrated Query Mechanisms;
  • Language Support for Concurrency, Parallelism or Heterogeneous Computation;
  • Probabilistic Programming and Machine Learning;
  • Semantics and Verification of Data-Centric Systems;
  • Type Systems for Data-Centric Programming;
  • Language-Inspired Database System Implementation Techniques;
  • Functionally-Inspired Translation Techniques (Continuations, Fusion)

Reports on applications of these techniques to real-world problems are especially encouraged, as are submissions that relate ideas and concepts from several of these topics, or bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Contributors to recent events mentioned above are encouraged to submit, but submission is open to everyone. Papers will be reviewed as regular JFP submissions, and acceptance in the special issue will be based on both JFP's quality standards and relevance to the theme. The special issue also welcomes high-quality survey and position papers that would benefit a wide audience.

Authors are encouraged to indicate interest in submitting by April 1, 2016, to aid in identifying suitable reviewers. The submission deadline is May 1, 2016. The suggested submission length is 25-35 pages, excluding bibliography and appendices. Shorter submissions are encouraged; prospective authors of longer submissions should discuss their plans with the special issue editors in advance.

Submissions that are based on previously-published conference or workshop papers must clearly describe the relationship with the initial publication, and must differ sufficiently that the author can assign copyright to Cambridge University Press. Prospective authors are welcome to discuss such submissions with the editors to ensure compliance with this policy.


Submissions should be sent through the JFP Manuscript Central system.

For other submission details, please consult an issue of the Journal of Functional Programming or see the Journal's web page at

Tentative Schedule

  • April 1, 2016: expressions of interest
  • May 1, 2016: submission deadline
  • Oct 1, 2016: first round of reviews
  • Dec 1, 2016: revision deadline
  • Feb 1, 2017: second round of reviews
  • May 1, 2017: final accepted versions due

Guest Editors:

  • James Cheney, University of Edinburgh, Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science
  • Torsten Grust, University of Tübingen, Department of Computer Science

Editor in Chief: