Accessing biodiversity resources in computational environments from workflow applications
Pahwa, J. S., White, R. J., Jones, A. C. , Burgess, M. , Gray, W. A. , Fiddian, N. J., Sutton, T. , Brewer, P. , Yesson, C. , Caithness, N. , Culham, A. , Bisby, F.A., Scoble, M. , Williams, P. and Bhagwat, S. (2006) Accessing biodiversity resources in computational environments from workflow applications. In: In "Workshop on Workflows in Support of Large-Scale Science" (in conjunction with the 15th IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing, Paris, France.
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In the Biodiversity World (BDW) project we have created a flexible and extensible Web Services-based Grid environment for biodiversity researchers to solve problems in biodiversity and analyse biodiversity patterns. In this environment, heterogeneous and globally distributed biodiversity-related resources such as data sets and analytical tools are made available to be accessed and assembled by users into workflows to perform complex scientific experiments. One such experiment is bioclimatic modelling of the geographical distribution of individual species using climate variables in order to predict past and future climate-related changes in species distribution. Data sources and analytical tools required for such analysis of species distribution are widely dispersed, available on heterogeneous platforms, present data in different formats and lack interoperability. The BDW system brings all these disparate units together so that the user can combine tools with little thought as to their availability, data formats and interoperability. The current Web Servicesbased Grid environment enables execution of the BDW workflow tasks in remote nodes but with a limited scope. The next step in the evolution of the BDW architecture is to enable workflow tasks to utilise computational resources available within and outside the BDW domain. We describe the present BDW architecture and its transition to a new framework which provides a distributed computational environment for mapping and executing workflows in addition to bringing together heterogeneous resources and analytical tools.
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