interactive data systems

Empowering humans to effectively interact with data.

Our research group focuses on bridging the gap between end-users and database systems, allowing users to better understand, create, and play with data. This involves solving problems that span the areas of databases, visualization, human-computer interaction, and information retrieval.

DICE: Fast and Approximate Analytics over Big Data

DICE is a distributed system that uses a novel session-oriented model for data cube exploration; designed to provide the user with interactive sub-second latencies for specified accuracy levels. A novel framework is provided that combines three concepts: faceted exploration of data cubes, speculative execution of queries and query execution over subsets of data.

GestureDB: Querying Beyond Keyboards

Computing devices that use non-traditional methods to interact with data are becoming more popular than those that use keyboards. Applications and query interfaces for such devices pose a fundamentally different set of workloads on the underlying databases. We propose a new database architecture to address these issues.

SpaceTime: SpatioTemporal Data Exploration

A framework for interactive analyzing large-scale spatiotemporal data. SpaceTime enables low-latency brushing-and-linking analysis over maps, focusing on applications such as geography, aviation, transportation, and precision agriculture.

PerceptViz: Powering Interactive Visualizations

Interactive visualizations are a powerful way to explore and draw insights from data. As the data available to practitioners continues to grow in complexity and size, existing systems find it harder and harder to maintain a highly interactive experience. The goal of this project is to develop an interactive visual data exploration system designed and optimized to take human perception into account.

The Team

Group Picture 2016

Arnab Nandi

Assistant Professor

Behrooz Omidvar-Tehrani

Postdoctoral Researcher

Niranjan Kamat

PhD Student

Lilong Jiang

PhD Student

Meraj Ahmed Khan

PhD Student

Protiva Rahman

PhD Student

Mohit Deshpande

Undergraduate Student

Emily Engle

Undergraduate Student

Danny Flax

Undergraduate Student

Dalton Flanagan

Undergraduate Student

Outreach and Impact

Research Code and Features: Prototypes for our work are made available under open source licenses on GitHub:, and through contributions to top-tier open source projects, such as the CUBE BY operator in Apache Pig.

Research Demonstrations: The group has a history of outreach to the general public through talks and demonstrations, such as presentations in the Franklinton Arts District Go West! Festival, and gestureDB prototype demonstrations at the 400 W Rich Farmers Market in Columbus:

Student Outreach: In addition to outreach efforts focusing on our research projects, members of the group are founders and organizers of the OHI/O Hackathon and Informal learning program. This grassroots program aims to foster a tech culture at Ohio State, and hosts events such as the annual HackOHI/O, the largest hackathon in the state with over 770+ student participants from 25+ universities.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. IIS 1422977, IIS 1527779, and IIS CAREER 1453582. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Contact Us

We are always on the look out for industry partners, collaborators, PhD students, and undergraduate students who want to work with us. Feel free to reach out to Arnab via his contact page or email him at firstname at For PhD applications, please be sure to read this first.

Photo. Columbus, Ohio at night.
  • Address

    395 Dreese Labs, 2015 Neil Ave
    Columbus, OH 43215, USA
  • Email

    arnab at cse
  • Phone

    (614) 292-2572
  • Social.