ViCE Helps Smooth Scientific Workflows
January 1, 2006
DSD’s work in higher-level interfaces to the Grid has led to the development of a visual programming tool, ViCE, that is used to collaboratively develop and execute complex scientific workflows.
Scientific projects today are frequently large collaborations among geographically and organizationally distributed teams. ViCE is designed to support scientists collaborating over a visual description of their workflow. A workflow is represented as a set of nodes and links. The nodes represent actions, such as querying a protein sequence database, and links represent the data transfer between nodes. By dragging and dropping a series of domain- specific nodes onto a palette, a scientist can construct a complete workflow.
The accompanying figure shows a typical visual workflow description from biology. The biologists are searching several protein sequence databases, looking for a likely match to a newly sequenced protein.
ViCE supports collaboration by allowing multiple groups to have the same view of the changing workflow description. They can use integrated chat tools to discuss the workflow. Future versions will support the collaborative editing of the visual workflow description.
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The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.
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