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Service Composition for Data Exploration in the Virtual Observatory (SC4DEVO)


The first phase of the International Grid/e-science Initiative has concentrated on the development of the basic computational infrastructure. This was the correct strategy, but, as Identified In the NeSC workshop on Scientific Data Mining, Integration and Visualisation (SDMIV), there is a gap between these core Grid services and the level at which Individual research scientists operate. What Is needed is a "marzipan layer" which Is lain on top of the solid base of fruit cake representing the core Grid services, and on top of which can be placed the icing of specific analysis services to be written and used by research scientists. The SDMIV workshop also noted the striking degree of similarity between the challenges faced across: widely different scientific disciplines. A common experience now in many sciences Is the sudden availability of vast quantities of new data, from multiple, heterogeneous sources distributed across the world, and there Is a general understanding that the extraction of science from this data avalanche requires a change in working method, towards what we call data exploration; by which we mean the coupled use of statistical data mining tools and visualisation techniques to aid the analysis of multi-dimensional data sets. The problem facing scientists In many disciplines Is not the lack of existing software for data mining and visualisation, since a lot of that (both commercial and freeware) Is available, but rather the absence of a framework within which it can all be made to run interoperably. Astronomy is the ideal application area for the prototype tested, for a variety of reasons: the new generation of large sky surveys (e.g. SDSS, UKIDSS, etc) provide excellent science drivers for this work, as well as challenging scalability test cases to run on publicly-accessible data; the astronomical community Is relatively small, and the standards procedure of the international Virtual Observatory Alliance provides a realistic route for getting a specification agreed globally; and, most Importantly, there is a critical mass of effort already engaged on this Issue, in the UK, US and Australian projects represented in this proposal. Part of this "marzipan layer" required to enable scientists to perform data exploration in a Grid context may comprise a suite of core data exploration services which can be used in a variety of scientific applications, but a dear necessity is a means of linking services, so that a scientist can create and deploy a workflow to perform a composite data exploration task. The detailed specification and development of the marzipan layer remains to be made, and, as is common in e-science, we believe that this is best undertaken through parallel, but interacting, strands of prototyping and standards definition. We seek funding here for a series of workshops for each strand: a series of week-bng,•in-depth working visits to bring together the teams engaged in the prototyping activity and a set of shorter workshops with a wider-ranging audience to discuss more generally the Infrastructrual requirements for data exploration in a Grid context.

Maturity: Initial Research
Region: UK
Type: Other
Grant Value: £41,276.00
Start Date: 01/01/2004
End Date: Not specified
Project Status: funded
Funding Agency: Core

Project Members
Prof Malcolm Atkinson

Collaborating Organisations
National e-Science Centre
School of Physics (University of Edinburgh)

Component(s) Project Develops
This project is not associated with any components at present.

Application Area(s) associated with Project
This project is not associated with any application areas at present.


Last Updated: 22 Jun 12 11:02
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