ACM SIGMOD 2013 Programming Contest


News and Updates

Jul 22, 2013 Final test driver and test data are released. Please check the final test page for details on how to run the final test.
Jul 1, 2013 Contest winners announced. Congratulations to team phoenix from Peking University for winning first place! (source code - poster). Ranking of all teams is avaiable at the updated leaderboard.
May 2, 2013 Microsoft donated USD $5,000 prize for the winning team
May 1, 2013 Five finalists have been selected
Apr 2, 2013 Intermediate test, a test similar to New test but smaller, is now publicly available
Mar 18, 2013 Big test is now publicly available
Mar 1, 2013 Registration open and leaderboard available
Feb 1, 2013 Released detailed task description
Jan 23, 2013 Contest announced


Student teams from degree granting institutions are invited to compete in the annual SIGMOD programming contest. This year, the task is to implement a streaming document filtering system. The winning team will be awarded a prize of USD $5,000 donated by Microsoft. Second and third teams will be awarded USD $3,000 and $2,000 respectively, donated by KAUST. Submissions will be judged based on their overall performance on a supplied workload. Teams with the top-performing submissions will receive travel grants to attend SIGMOD 2013 in New York, USA .

Task Overview

The general idea is to filter a stream of documents using a dynamic set of exact and approximate continuous keyword match.

Specifically, the goal is to maximize the throughput with which documents are disseminated to active queries. Whenever a new document arrives, the system must quickly determine all queries satisfied by this document. Each query is represented as a set of keywords, and each document is represented as a sequence of space separated words. For a document to satisfy a query it should contain all the words in the query. Queries will fit into the main memory of the machine. Three types of keyword matching must be supported: exact matches, approximate matches under an edit distance constraint, and approximate matches under a Hamming distance constraint.

There are many practical examples where such a system can be used. For example, if one thinks of tweets as documents, and queries as some hash-tags a user wishes to follow, then it is desirable to know which users should be notified when a new tweet arrives. Another example is subscriptions to news services, where a user wishes to be notified each time an article of interest is published. The problem becomes challenging when the query set is big and changes frequently.

Since users interested in the same area usually submit similar queries, one particular focus will be on the practical case where a large number of queries have similar words.

Important Dates

Feb 1, 2013 The detailed specification of the requirements will be available on the website.
Mar 1, 2013 Team registration starts, and leaderboard becomes available.
Apr 15, 2013 Submission deadline.
May 1, 2013 Finalists will be notified.

Contact Information

To stay updated or to ask technical questions please join sigmod2013contest group.

For non-technical questions, please contact:
Research Assistant: Amin Allam (
Research Assistant: Fuad Jamour (
Associate Professor: Dr. Panos Kalnis (


The contest is organized by the InfoCloud Research Group in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in collaboration with the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) .


Prize money for the winning team is gracefully donated by Microsoft. Prize money for the second and third teams, and the finalists' travel grants are covered by a grant from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

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