Semantics of Ranking Queries for Probabilistic Data and Expected Ranks

When dealing with massive quantities of data, top-k queries are a powerful technique for returning only the k most relevant tuples for inspection, based on a scoring function. The problem of efficiently answering such ranking queries has been studied and analyzed extensively within traditional database settings. The importance of the top-k is perhaps even greater in probabilistic databases, where a relation can encode exponentially many possible worlds. There have been several recent attempts to propose definitions and algorithms for ranking queries over probabilistic data.

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AT&T Labs
Big Data