Accelerated Discovery Cycles
Despite challenges with significant implications for mankind, the considerable recent advances in earth system science have nonetheless failed to keep pace with the accelerating need to better understand .how the world works. in the face of rapid global change. The science of global change requires a new model for comprehensive study of complex systems that combines: (a) experimental infrastructure that encompasses realistically complex earth systems, but simultaneously allows for precise manipulation of that system, and (b) information integration and informatics capacity to both ingest the massive datasets needed to capture large-scale dynamic ecosystem complexity, and to instantly process and update it in order to test contrasting mechanistic models and drive the next set of experiments. Furthermore, to ensure that such an approach is accessible to the entire scientific and educational community, the data, models, and knowledge generated need to be easily accessible and visualized. Currently, no coupled physical and computational infrastructure exists to address this pressing need. A computational collaboratory that can support such integration would generate immediate transformative science and educational opportunities.
Project GoalsThe overarching objective of this project is to enable Accelerated Discovery Cycles (ADCs) by coupling recent advances in computational models and cyber-systems with the unique experimental infrastructure of Biosphere 2 (B2), a large-scale earth system science facility now under management by the UofA. The hallmark of ADC is the ability to dynamically couple and autonomically configure, in real-time, complex and customized interaction between biophysical models, environmental sensors and effectors, and experimental protocols. This ability will enable a new era of global and collaborative investigations in earth system science to address critical issues underlying global changes.
We propose a service-oriented cyberinfrastructure for pervasive access to and coordinated sharing of
geographically distributed hardware, software, and information resources, as well as interactions between
computations, experiments, information/data and experts distributed across a Grid. This cyberstructure
will be integrated with the Biosphere 2, experimental infrastructure, which is separately supported by
private funds and is available at no cost to this grant. Together, these infrastructures can revolutionize
how earth science is conducted, shared and disseminated. Our central and unique deliverable will be a
fully controllable and observable experimental test bed, which will enable ADCs that will fundamentally
advance understanding of complex earth ecosystems and processes. Such ADCs will result from
computer/computational scientists (Hariri, Parashar, Flikkema, Lewis and Akoglu) working together with
earth scientists/engineers and mathematicians (Huxman, Saleska, Zeng and Jenerette) to address the
core challenges of heterogeneity, complexity and scale of the data, the computational models and the
The primary deliverable of this effort will be an integrated collaboratory composed of models, tools and a data repository aimed at accelerating research and discovery towards addressing complex earth science grand challenges. The deliverables will be associated with the key phases of the ACD, i.e., physical infrastructure consisting of autonomous sensors and robots for advanced dynamic environmental sensing, autonomic infrastructure for computation and experiment management, portals and interfaces for analysis and visualization, and educational and outreach.
The proposed collaboratory for ADC will integrate the research, educational, and teaching activities carried out by earth scientists, and will empower earth scientists, computer science and engineering scientists, and statistical and applied mathematicians to integrate their research and collaborate to address the earth science grand challenges. By integrating cyberinfrastructure resources and tools (high performance computing and storage resources, high speed networks, autonomic computing software and tools, sensors and robot technologies) with a grand scale B2 facility, accelerated discovery cycles can be developed to provide an integrative framework for bridging the gap between data collection and development of earth science models. These accelerated discovery cycles will reduce significantly the time to investigate grand earth science challenges and will lead to development of accurate models that can be validated rapidly using the B2 experimental test-beds. The collaboration tools will enable earth scientists to scale up these results to relevant spatial and temporal realms . an important grand challenge. Furthermore, the resulting knowledge environment will have broad applications for addressing challenging science goals in diverse domains. The proposed collaborative environment will also lead to rapid dissemination of knowledge and discovery results to the research and education community. Specifically, the collaboratory will spur the development of new multidisciplinary research teams to collaborate on accelerated discovery cycles in an array of earth science problems.
Yaser Jararweh, Arjun Hary, Youssif B. Al-Nashif, Salim Hariri, Ali Akoglu, Darrel Jenerette."Accelerated Discovery through Integration of Kepler with Data Turbine for Ecosystem Research".AICCSA, May, 2009, Rabat, Morocco.
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