`` Mediated Model Coupling''
Prof. Judith B. Cushing
The Evergreen State College
Olympia, WA 98505
E-mail: judyc@evergreen.edu

Advances in computer science have revolutionized research in the natural sciences. The scientific community now routinely relies on simulations involving complex computations on huge, multi-dimensional data. Many of these simulations have become valuable research tools in understanding isolated phenomena and, thus, constitute the important but small, first steps towards an ultimate goal of understanding complex interactions among physical processes.

To achieve this ultimate goal, existing models must be coupled into larger simulations. The support needed for this coupling goes significantly beyond traditional mechanisms for interface specification, input/output format conversions, and interprocess communication. The scientists, concerned about the scientific viability of the coupled models, must be given the tools to dynamically explore model correlations and relationships at a very high, domain-specific level, shielding them from the details of high-performance computing while supporting the translation of their hypotheses into real, working systems for evaluation.

Computational infrastructure to support this class of activity will involve considerable new research. Jan Cuny, Al Malony and Doug Toomey at the University of Oregon, Lawrence Snyder at the University of Washington and myself are working towards developing such support, which we call ``mediated'' model coupling.

My own role in this work will be for database support for domain specific computational environments. I think of this as being a persistent store, not only of empirical data that can be used as inputs to the programs, and the program inputs and outputs, but also the application profiles themselves. An application profile includes:

There are many interesting CS (DBMS) questions that are more widely applicable than to this domain, or even just to computational science: