Dr. Raj Sunderraman's research focuses on deductive databases and logic programming, data modeling, knowledge engineering, Semantic Web, bioinformatics, geoinformatics. Incomplete and inconsistent databases: This research deals with methods to effectively represent and query various kinds of incompleteness and inconsistencies in relational databases. In early research, pioneering work was done to represent and query relational database with disjunctive information. Later, for the first time, a data model and relational algebra was introduced to represent and query relational databases under the open world assumption with explicit negative data. More recently, data models for degrees of exclusive disjunctions as well as generalized disjunctions in paraconsistent databases have been developed.
Bioinformatics/neuroinformatics: Research in bioinformatics involves the invention as well as application of database and knowledge-base technologies in the life science domain. One of the projects involves the design and implementation of a knowledge-base to catalog neuronal circuitry. NeuronBank is a web-based tool that we have developed for cataloging, searching, and analyzing neuronal circuitry within and across species. Information from a single species is represented in an individual branch of NeuronBank. Users can search within a branch or perform queries across branches to look for similarities in neuronal circuits across species. The branches allow for an extensible ontology so that additional characteristics can be added as knowledge grows. In another project, we have developed a programming environment to store, query, and manipulate protein structure data. The structure data from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) is imported into an object-oriented database; a middleware system allows life scientists to work with protein structure data without having to learn much of the computer representation of the data.