Sparse cross-products of metadata in scientific simulation management

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Massey University
Managing scientific data is by no means a trivial task even in a single site environment with a small number of researchers involved. We discuss some issues concerned with posing well-specified experiments in terms of parameters or instrument settings and the metadata framework that arises from doing so. We are particularly interested in parallel computer simulation experiments, where very large quantities of warehouse-able data are involved. We consider SQL databases and other framework technologies for manipulating experimental data. Our framework manages the the outputs from parallel runs that arise from large cross-products of parameter combinations. Considerable useful experiment planning and analysis can be done with the sparse metadata without fully expanding the parameter cross-products. Extra value can be obtained from simulation output that can subsequently be data-mined. We have particular interests in running large scale Monte-Carlo physics model simulations. Finding ourselves overwhelmed by the problems of managing data and compute ¿resources, we have built a prototype tool using Java and MySQL that addresses these issues. We use this example to discuss type-space management and other fundamental ideas for implementing a laboratory information management system.
Metadata, Scientific data, Data mining, Data management
James, H.A., Hawick, K.A. (2005), Sparse cross-products of metadata in scientific simulation management, Research Letters in the Information and Mathematical Sciences, 7, 89-115