Tallinn University of Technology

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) in cooperation with University of Tartu organized the 14th International Baltic Conference on Databases and Information Systems (DB&IS) during 16-19 June 2020 in Tallinn and Tartu. The Baltic DB&IS 2020 conference continued the successful series of biennial conferences, which aim at being a forum for researchers, practitioners and PhD students all over the world working in the fields of databases and information systems (IS) to share their results and findings by gathering in one of the Baltic states.

This time the topics of conference presentations mainly emphasized new developments in data management and IS engineering covering topics like machine learning, data and knowledge engineering and IS security that all are very important for development of modern IS.

Due to the escalation of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, and the antiCOVID-19 regulations in Europe, and the rest of the world, the planned physical meetings in Tallinn and in Tartu had to be re-formatted, and the conference was held online as a virtual conference featuring live and semi-live presentations during the same period of time. At the opening session, in addition to organizers, the dean of the School of Information Technology at TalTech Prof. Gert Jervan presented an opening address. At the closing session, the screen was given to Prof. Juris Borzovs from University of Latvia to call participants to the next Baltic DB&IS in Riga held in 2022.

According to the data provided by the program chair Dr. Tarmo Robal, the program committee received 52 submissions with authors coming from 16 countries. Each paper was reviewed (single-blind) by at least three members of the Program Committee. The international Program Committee consisted of 74 members from 26 countries. As a result, 26 papers were included to the conference program (authors from 12 different countries) and 7 papers written by doctoral students were included to the Doctoral Consortium. The Doctoral Consortium was chaired by Dr. Riina Maigre from the Department of Software Science (TalTech) and by Prof. Eduard Petlenkov of Institute of Computer Systems (TalTech). Altogether, 33 presentations and 3 keynote talks were presented online for the participants of the conference.

The Baltic DB&IS 2020 program included three invited keynotes on trending topics actual for the conference series, given by Prof. Claudia Hauff (TU Delft, The Netherlands), Prof. Marite Kirikova (Riga Technical University, Latvia), and Dr. Jan Willemson (Cybernetica, Estonia).

Prof. Claudia Hauff talked about basic problems of Information Retrieval (IR) and solutions available in the age of neural networks. The main message of the keynote was that with introduction of new neural networks architectures in 2017, a second wave of neural architectures for natural language processing has emerged. She highlighted that the BERT model (introduced in 2018) has shown good performance in IR related tasks, such as question answering, reading comprehension, etc.

The keynote talk by Prof. Marite Kirikova was devoted to continuous requirements engineering in the context of Socio-Cyber-Physical Systems. She stressed that currently, a social aspect is associated to Cyber-Physical Systems, however there are no very good methods for requirements engineering of these social aspects yet. Information security field was represented by the keynote of Dr. Jan Willemson who talked about new developments of encryption mechanisms for Estonian eID infrastructure. The importance of the topic was brought forward by the ROCA case in 2017 for the Estonian ID-card.

General chairs of the conference were Dr. Hele-Mai Haav and Dr. Jaan Penjam from the Department of Software Science (TalTech). The Chairs of the Programme Committee were Dr. Tarmo Robal from the Department of Computer Systems (TalTech) and Prof. Raimundas Matulevicius from the Institute of Computer Science at University of Tartu.

More information is available on the conference website at https://dbis.ttu.ee and https://twitter.com/dbis2020.