Call for Grand Challenge Solutions (

The DEBS Grand Challenge is a series of competitions that started in 2010, in which both participants from academia and industry compete with the goal of building faster and more scalable distributed and event-based systems that solve a practical problem. Every year, the DEBS Grand Challenge participants have a chance to explore a new data set and a new problem and can compare their results based on the common evaluation criteria. The winners of the challenge are announced during the conference. The 2021 DEBS Grand Challenge focuses on environmental data from a large number of geo-distributed air quality sensors. The goal of the challenge is to detect geographical areas where the air quality has changed most significantly due to lock-down measures during the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

The outbreak of COVID-19 (caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus) has disrupted the world. In March, significant parts of the world came to a standstill when governments announced their lockdown. This lockdown had multidimensional effects, and it affected everyone and everything differently. One rather surprising effect of the lockdown is that it improved the air quality due to reduced mobility and traffic. Air Quality Index (AQI) was detected to be improved throughout the world during the lockdown. In this year’s Grand Challenge, we will use an air quality dataset to find which areas improved the most in terms of AQI index compared to the average AQI of the previous year.

Participation in the DEBS 2021 Grand Challenge consists of three steps: (1) registration, (2) iterative solution submission, and (3) paper submission. The first step is to pre-register your submission by registering your abstract at EasyChair ( in the "Grand Challenge Track" and sending an email to one of the Grand Challenge Co-Chairs (see Solutions to the challenge, once developed, must be submitted to the evaluation platform in order to get it benchmarked in the challenge. The evaluation platform provides detailed feedback on performance and allows to update the solution in an iterative process. A solution can be continuously improved until the challenge closing date. Evaluation results of the last submitted solution will be used for the final performance ranking. The last step is to upload a short paper (minimum 2 pages, maximum 6 pages) describing the final solution to the EasyChair system. All papers will be reviewed by the DEBS Grand Challenge Committee to assess the merit and originality of submitted solutions. All solutions of sufficient quality will be presented during the poster session at the DEBS 2021 conference.

Important Dates
Release of the challenge, initial data set, and a reference implementation: 	December 15th, 2020
API Endpoint for development:	December 15th, 2020
Announcement of challenge parameters (batchsize, latency/throughput):	February 15th, 2021
Evaluation platform (VMs):	February 15th, 2021
Deadline for uploading the final solution to the evaluation platform:	April 5th, 2021
Deadline for short paper submission:	April 19th, 2021
Notification of acceptance:	May 3rd, 2021

Grand Challenge Co-Chairs
Ruben Mayer, TU Munich
Christoph Doblander, TU Munich
Jawad Tahir, TU Munich
Sebastian Frischbier, Infront Finance Group

For more information, visit