Just in case you haven’t heard:
… join us for an exciting national summit on innovation and technology, hosted by ORION and CANARIE, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Nov. 3 and 4, 2008.
“Powering Innovation – a National Summit” brings over 55 keynotes, speakers and panelist from across Canada and the US, including best-selling author of Innovation Nation, Dr. John Kao; President/CEO of Intenet2 Dr. Doug Van Houweling; chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley Dr. Robert J. Birgeneau; advanced visualization guru Dr. Chaomei Chen of Philadelphia’s Drexel University; and many more. The President of the Ontario College of Art & Design’s Sara Diamond chairs “A Boom with View”, a session on visualization technologies. Dr. Gail Anderson presents on forensic science research. Other speakers include the host of CBC Radio’s Spark Nora Young; Delvinia Interactive’s Adam Froman and the President and CEO of Zerofootprint, Ron Dembo.
This is an excellent opportunity to meet and network with up to 250 researchers, scientists, educators, and technologists from across Ontario and Canada and the international community. Attend sessions on the very latest on e-science; network-enabled platforms, cloud computing, the greening of IT; applications in the “cloud”; innovative visualization technologies; teaching and learning in a web 2.0 universe and more. Don’t miss exhibitors and showcases from holographic 3D imaging, to IP-based television platforms, to advanced networking.
For more information, visit http://www.orioncanariesummit.ca.
I learned yesterday that the manuscript I submitted to HPCS 2008 was not accepted 😦
It may take my co-authors and I some time before this manuscript is revised and re-submitted.
This anticipated re-submission latency, along with the fact that we believe the content needs to be shared in a timely fashion, provides the motivation for sharing the manuscript online.
To whet your appetite, the abstract is as follows:
Evolving a Semantic Framework into a Network-Enabled Semantic Platform
A data-oriented semantic framework has been developed previously for a project involving a network of globally distributed scientiﬁc instruments. Through the use of this framework, the semantic expressivity and richness of the project’s ASCII data is systematically enhanced as it is successively represented in XML (eXtensible Markup Language), RDF (Resource Description Formal) and ﬁnally as an informal ontology in OWL (Web Ontology Language). In addition to this representational transformation, there is a corresponding transformation from data into information into knowledge. Because this framework is broadly applicable to ASCII and binary data of any origin, it is appropriate to develop a network-enabled semantic platform that identiﬁes the enabling semantic components and interfaces that already exist, as well as the key gaps that need to be addressed to completely implement the platform. After brieﬂy reviewing the semantic framework, a J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) based implementation for a network-enabled semantic platform is provided. And although the platform is in principle usable, ongoing adoption suggests that strategies aimed at processing XML via parallel I/O techniques are likely an increasingly pressing requirement.
If what I’ve been reading over the past few days has any validity to it at all, there will continue to be increasing interest in cyberinfrastructure (CI). Moreover, this interest will come from an increasingly broader demographic.
At this point, you might be asking yourself what, exactly, is cyberinfrastructure. The Atkins Report defines CI this way:
The term infrastructure has been used since the 1920s to refer collectively to the roads, power grids, telephone systems, bridges, rail lines, and similar public works that are required for an industrial economy to function. … The newer term cyberinfrastructure refers to infrastructure based upon distributed computer, information, and communication technology. If infrastructure is required for an industrial economy, then we could say that cyberinfrastructure is required for a knowledge economy. [p. 5]
[Cyberinfrastructure] can serve individuals, teams and organizations in ways that revolutionize what they can do, how they do it, and who participates. [p. 17]
If this definition leaves you wanting, don’t feel too bad, as anyone whom I’ve ever spoken to on the topic feels the same way. What doesn’t help is that the Atkins Report, and others I’ve referred to below, also bandy about terms like e-Science, Grid Computing, Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs), etc. Add to these newer terms such as Cooperative Computing, Network-Enabled Platforms plus Cell Computing and it’s clear that the opportunity for obfuscation is about all that’s being guaranteed.
Consensus on the inadequacy of the terminology aside, there is also consensus that this is a very exciting time with very interesting possibilities.
So where, pragmatically, does this leave us?
Until we collectively sort out the terminology, my suggestion is that the time is ripe for immediate immersion in what cyberinfrastructure and the like might feel like or are. In other words, I highly recommend reviewing the sources cited below in order:
- The Wikipedia entry for cyberinfrastructure – A great starting point with a number of references that is, of course, constantly updated.
- The Atkins Report – The NSF’s original CI document.
- Cyberinfrastructure Vision for 21st Century Discovery – A slightly more concrete update from the NSF as of March 2007.
- Community-specific content – There is content emerging on the intersection between CI and specific communities, disciplines, etc. These frontiers are helping to better define the transformative aspects and possibilities for CI in a much-more concrete way.
Frankly, it’s a bit of a slog to wade through all of this content for a variety of reasons …
Ultimately, however, I believe it’s worth the undertaking at the present time as the possibilities are very exciting.
In a previous post, I referred to Earth Science Informatics as a discipline-in-the-making.
To support this claim, I cited a number of data points. And of these data points, the 2006 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) stands out as a key enabler.
With 22 sessions posted, the 2007 Fall Meeting of the AGU is well primed to further enable the development of this discipline.
Because I’m a passionate advocate of this intersection between the Earth Sciences and Informatics, I’m involved in convening three of the 22 Earth and Space Science Informatics sessions:
- Ontology Integration: A Pressing Challenge for Earth and Space Science Informatics
- Grid Technologies and Associated Infrastructures
- Putting Ontologies to Work: Real-World Applications in the Earth and Space Sciences
I encourage you to take a moment to review the calls for participation for these three, as well as the other 19, sessions in Earth and Space Science Informatics at the 2007 Fall Meeting of the AGU.
I spent a few days in Ottawa last week participating in CANARIE’s Network-Enabled Platforms Workshop.
As the pre-workshop agenda indicated, there’s a fair amount of activity in this area already, and much of it originates from within Canada.
Now that the workshop is over, most of the presentations are available online.
In my case, I’ve made available a discussion document entitled “Evolving Semantic Frameworks into Network-Enabled Semantic Platforms”. This document is very much a work in progress and feedback is welcome here (as comments to this blog post), to me personally (via email to ian AT yorku DOT ca), or via CANARIE’s wiki.
Although a draft of the CANARIE RFP funding opportunity was provided in hard-copy format, there was no soft-copy version made available. If this is of interest, I’d suggest you keep checking the CANARIE site.
Next week, I’ll be attending CANARIE’s Network-Enabled Platforms Workshop: Convergence of Cyber-Infrastructure and the Next-Generation Internet in Ottawa. Although the workshop is described elsewhere, to provide a little context consider that:
The purpose of CANARIE’s Network-Enabled Platforms Workshop is to explore the development of and participation in network-enabled platforms by Canadian researchers and other interested parties. The workshop will be an important step towards the launch of a CANARIE funding program in this area.
Based on the agenda, I expect this will be a highly worthwhile event, and I am looking forward to it.
My contribution to the workshop will be a short presentation described by the following abstract:
Evolving Semantic Frameworks into Network-Enabled Semantic Platforms
Manager Network Operations
Computing and Network Services
A semantic framework has been successfuly developed for a project involving a network of globally distributed scientific instruments. Through the use of this framework, the semantic expressivity and richness of the project’s ASCII data is systematically enhanced as it is successively represented in XML (eXtensible Markup Language), RDF (Resource Description Formal) and finally OWL (Web Ontology Language). In addition to this representational transformation, there is a corresponding transformation from data into information into knowledge. Because this framework is broadly applicable to ASCII and binary data of any origin, it is appropriate to develop a network-enabled sematic platform that (i) facilitates integration of the enabling languages, tools and utilities that already exist, and (ii) identifies the key gaps that need to be addressed to completely implement the platform. After briefly reviewing the semantic framework in a generic way, a J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) based, work-in-progress proposal for a network-enabled semantic platform is forwarded.
I expect to be sharing more on this thread as it develops …