Interesting Tech Reports from Microsoft Research

MSR-TR-2005-129 - Service Oriented Database Architecture: App Server-Lite?
David Campbell
As the capabilities and service levels of enterprise database systems have evolved, they have collided with incumbent technologies such as TP-Monitors or Message Oriented Middleware (MOM). We believe this trend will continue and have architected the upcoming release of SQL Server to advance this technology trend. This paper describes the Service Oriented Database Architecture (SODA) developed for the Microsoft SQL Server DBMS. First, it motivates the need for building Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) features directly into a database engine. Second, it describes a set of features in SQL Server that have been designed for SOA use. Finally, it concludes with some thoughts on how SODA can enable multiple service deployment topologies.

MSR-TR-2005-127 - Leveraging Information Across HLA Alleles/Supertypes Improves HLA-Specific Epitope Prediction
David Heckerman; Carl Kadie; Jennifer Listgarten
We present a model for predicting HLA-specific CTL epitopes. In contrast to almost all other work in this area, we train a single model on epitopes from all HLA alleles and supertypes, yet retain the ability to make epitope predictions for specific HLA alleles. We are therefore able to leverage data across all HLA alleles and/or their supertypes, automatically learning what information should be shared and also how to combine allele-specific, supertype-specific, and global information in a principled way. We show that this leveraging can improve prediction of epitopes having HLA alleles with known supertypes, and dramatically increases our ability to predict epitopes having alleles which do not fall into any of the known supertypes. Our model, which is based on logistic regression, is simple to implement and understand, is solved by finding a single global maximum, yet performs on par with (to our knowledge) the best published results.

MSR-TR-2005-123 - Indexing the Sphere with the Hierarchical Triangular Mesh
Alex Szalay; Jim Gray; Gyorgy Fekete; Peter Kunszt; Peter Kukol; Ani Thakar
We describe a method to subdivide the surface of a sphere into spherical triangles of similar, but not identical, shapes and sizes. The Hierarchical Triangular Mesh (HTM) is a quad-tree that is particularly good at supporting searches at different resolutions, from arc seconds to hemispheres. The subdivision scheme is universal, providing the basis for addressing and for fast lookups. The HTM provides the basis for an efficient geospatial indexing scheme in relational databases where the data have an inherent location on either the celestial sphere or the Earth. The HTM index is superior to cartographical methods using coordinates with singularities at the poles. We also describe a way to specify surface regions that efficiently represent spherical query areas. This article presents the algorithms used to identify the HTM triangles covering such regions

MSR-TR-2005-122 - Using Table Valued Functions in SQL Server 2005 To Implement a Spatial Data Library
Jim Gray; Alex Szalay; Gyorgy Fekete
This article explains how to add spatial search functions (point-near-point and point in polygon) to Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 using C# and table-valued functions. It is possible to use this library to add spatial search to your application without writing any special code. The library implements the public-domain C# Hierarchical Triangular Mesh (HTM) algorithms from Johns Hopkins University. That C# library is connected to SQL Server 2005 via a set of scalar-valued and table-valued functions. These functions act as a spatial index.