Stephen Winter

Workflows and Gateways for Scientists

Researchers of all disciplines, from life sciences and astronomy to computational chemistry, create and use ever-increasing amounts of complex data, and rely more and more on compute-intensive modelling, simulation and analysis. Scientific workflows have become a key paradigm for managing complex tasks and have emerged as a unifying mechanism for handling scientific data. They capture the essence of the scientific process, providing both a formal as well as useful means of description. Workflows can be mapped onto concrete Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs) such as clusters, supercomputers, grids, desktop grids, and clouds, to perform large-scale experiments. The learning curve for re-using workflows is still steep however because workflows typically have their own user interfaces, APIs, description languages, provenance strategies, and enactment engines, that are neither standard nor interoperable. This is inhibiting their effective uptake by scientists.  The EU-funded SHIWA project aims to enable cross-workflow and inter-workflow exploitation of DCIs through a number of strategies, which will be described in the talk. Workflow usage is also encouraged through graphical tools in web-based environments. A related EU-funded project SCI-BUS is creating a general purpose gateway technology that will provide seamless access, via workflow, to major computing, data and networking infrastructures and services in Europe. SCI-BUS is elaborating an application-specific gateway building technology and a customisation methodology based on which user communities can easily develop their customised gateways. The project will create a number of application-specific gateways for several different communities including astrophysics, seismology, helio-physics, computational chemistry, bioscience, biomedicine, rendering and even, a citizen's community.

Speaker

Stephen WinterStephen Winter
University of Westminster, London, UK

Stephen Winter is Professor of Distributed Computing Systems, Director of the Centre for Parallel Computing, and Deputy Dean of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Westminster. He has led a number of research projects in parallel and distributed computing technology funded by national Research Councils and the European Union including EDPEPPS, SEPP, and HPCTI, and led the development of distributed simulation architectures for urban traffic modelling and microscopic simulation through the EU-funded projects HIPERTRANS, and OSSA. He is currently involved in EU-funded grid/cloud projects that include EDGI, SHIWA, DEGISCO and SCI-BUS. He has published over 100 technical papers in the parallel and distributed computing and has supervised around 20 research students. He is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and a member of several professional bodies including IEE, InstMC, IEEE and Euromicro. Until recently he was an editor of the Journal of Systems Architecture, and IEEE Micro. He has been an active organiser of numerous conferences and workshops in the field of parallel and distributed computing.