SHIWA - SHaring Interoperable Workflows for large-scale scientific simulations on Available DCIs
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. Workflows capture the essence of the scientific process, providing a means to describe it via logical data- or work-flows. Workflows are mapped onto concrete Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs) to perform large-scale experiments.
The learning curve for reusing workflows, however, is still steep because workflows typically have their own user interfaces/APIs, description languages, provenance strategies, and enactment engines, which are not standard and do not interoperable. Workflow integration or reuse therefore is currently impractical, thereby inhibiting the growth in uptake and proliferation of workflows in scientific practice.
User communities from all around Europe use many kinds of different workflow languages. Communities develop their workflows using one of the workflow engines. Workflow development, testing and validation is a time consuming process and it requires specific expertise. These limit the number of available workflows, so it is important to reuse them. Workflows developed for one workflow system is normally not compatible with workflows of other workflow systems. In the past if two user communities using different workflow systems wanted to collaborate, they had to create the workflows from scratch to transform them to the desired workflow languages. This situation can be resolved by emerging new workflow interoperability technologies. The goal of SHIWA is to develop such technologies.
According to the new SHIWA technologies publicly available workflows can be used by different research communities working on different workflow systems and are enabled to run on multiple distributed computing infrastructures. As a result workflow communities are not locked anymore in to their selected workflow system and its supported distributed computing infrastructure.
SHIWA Simulation Platform
SHIWA develops, deploys and operates the SHIWA Simulation Platform to offer users production-level services supporting workflow interoperability. As part of the SHIWA Simulation Platform the SHIWA Repository facilitates publishing and sharing workflows, and the SHIWA Portal enables their actual enactment and execution in all the DCIs available in Europe. Use cases targeting various scientific domains will serve to drive and evaluate this platform from a user's perspective.
The SHIWA project started on the 1st of July 2010 and lasts two years.
More information about the project can be found on the project's website.