The CineCubes System: aiding end-users gain insight from OLAP queries

Why should query results be treated simply as sets of tuples returned by the DBMS as if they would be visualized in an orange CRT of the 70’s? So far, database systems assume their work is done once results are produced, effectively prohibiting even well-educated end-users to work with them. Can we do something better?

In this line of work, we want to show that it is possible to produce query results that are (a) properly visualized, (b) textually exploitable, i.e., enriched with an automatically extracted text that comments on the result, (c) vocally enriched, i.e., enriched with audio that allows the user not only to see, but also hear. Moreover, we provide an extensible method to accompany a query result with results of complementary queries that allow the qualitative assessment of its information content. Interestingly, a meaningful sequence of related queries that provide context and depth to the original query, “dressed” with the appropriate visualization and sound, ends up to be nothing else but a movie where cubes star.

Texts and Presentations

Panos Vassiliadis, Patrick Marcel. The road to highlights is paved with good intentions: envisioning a paradigm shift in OLAP modeling. 20th International Workshop on Design, Optimization, Languages and Analytical Processing of Big Data (DOLAP 2018), 26 March 2018, Vienna, Austria (co-located with EDBT/ICDT 2018).

See also the local page with the paper and other material

Dimitrios Gkesoulis, Panos Vassiliadis, Petros Manousis. CineCubes: Aiding data workers gain insights from OLAP queries. Information Systems, Volume 53, October–November 2015, Pages 60 - 86.
See the paper here (PDF) and a detailed presentation here (PDF).

Extends DOLAP'13 with a broad survey of related work, an enlightening user study, and details of the formal background, software architecture and experiments.

Dimitrios Gkesoulis, Panos Vassiliadis. CineCubes: Cubes as Movie Stars with Little Effort. ACM Sixteenth International Workshop On Data Warehousing and OLAP (DOLAP 2013), pp. 3 - 10, 28 October 2013, San Fransisco, USA (colocated with ACM CIKM 2013).
Paper (PDF) and presentation: (PDF) (PPT).

The original Cinecubes paper at DOLAP 2013



A on-line demo of CineCubes, set-up over the Adult database, is found in this CineCubes demo site.

Unfortunately, the old CineCubes demo site mentioned in the DOLAP'13 paper (, which was also quite fast, is no longer under our control and we cannot guarantee that it will be working properly.


[2013-08-08]You can find the result of a CineCube query here (21MB pptx file)



Coming soon as open-source code in git (as soon as we find our way through the licensing paranoia). For the moment, the DOLAP 2013 v. of the code is found here.

Last update: 2013/03/22