NSF Invitational Workshop on

Distributed Information, Computation, and Process Management
for Scientific and Engineering Environments

May 15-16, 1998
Hyatt Dulles, Herndon, Virginia


``Collaborative Design and Visualization''
Prof. Jarek Rossignac, Georgia Institute of Technology
Friday, May 15, 9:15-9:45, Concord B Ballroom

To enhance collaborative design, interactive 3D visualization must be trivial-to-use and fully integrated with the established workflow practices and other personal productivity, connectivity, and communication tools. When successfully combined with selective Internet access and multimedia annotations, interactive visualization tools will become the principal interface from which design and analysis activities are controlled and coordinated. We will report the conclusions of TeamCAD, the first GVU/NIST workshop on Collaborative CAD, and will review the state of the art in the compression, progressive download, and real-time rendering of highly complex 3D models and in interactive navigation and manipulation tools.

Jarek Rossignac is the Director of GVU, Georgia Tech's Graphics, Visualization, and Usability Center, which involves 51 faculty members and over 160 graduate students focused on technologies that make humans more effective. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, he worked at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center as the Strategist for Visualization; the Senior Manager of the Visualization, Interaction, and Graphics department; and the Manager of several IBM's graphics products: 3D Interaction Accelerator, Data Explorer, and PanoramIX. Rossignac holds a PhD in EE from the University of Rochester, New York in the area of Solid Modeling, chaired 12 conferences, workshops, and program committees in Graphics, Solid Modeling, and Computational Geometry; guest edited 7 special issues of professional journals; and and co-authored 13 patents in these areas.

``Advanced Networks for Distributed Systems''
Dr. George Strawn, National Science Foundation
Friday, May 15, 9:45-10:00, Concord B Ballroom

The Science, Technology and Research Transit Access Point (STAR TAP, http://www.startap.net/) project was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in April, 1997 for the purpose of providing an international exchange point for high performance-networked applications. STAR TAP is one of the exchange points for Next Generation Internet (NGI). It is also the same facility as one of the emerging Internet 2 GigaPops. The Department of Energy's ESnet and NASA's NREN have also connected to STAR TAP, as have Canada's CA*net II and Singapore's SINGAREN. DoD's DREN, Taiwan's TAnet, and other high-performance networks from Asia-Pacific, Europe, and, perhaps, Latin America are expected to connect shortly. The STAR TAP is staffed with networking and applications specialists, who are charged to assist in tuning end-to-end applications that support international high-end collaborations.

Key Words: STAR TAP, high-performance applications, Internet Exchange Point, Acceptable Use Policy, vBNS, CA*net II, ESnet, NREN, Next Generation Internet, Internet 2, GigaPoP, SINGAREN, TAnet

``Infrastructure for New Computational Challenges''
Dr. John C. Cherniavsky, National Science Foundation
Friday, May 15, 10:00-10:30, Concord B Ballroom

Dr. Cherniavsky is the Director of the Division of Experimental and Integrative Activities within the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation.

``Forecasting and Simulating the Physical-Acoustical-Optical-Biological-Chemical-Geological Ocean''
Prof. Allan R. Robinson, Harvard University
Friday, May 15, 10:30-11:00, Concord B Ballroom

The ocean is a complex multidisciplinary fluid system in which dynamical processes and phenomena occur over a range of interactive space and time scales, spanning more than nine decades. The fundamental interdisciplinary problems of ocean science, identified in general more than half a century ago, are just now feasible to research. They are being pursued via research in ecosystem dynamics, biogeochemical cycles, littoral-coastal-deep sea interactions, and climate and global change dynamics. Concomittantly, novel progress in maritime operations and coastal ocean management is underway. Realistic four-dimensional (three spatial dimensions and time) interdisciplinary field estimation is essential for efficient research and applications. State variables to be estimated include, e.g.\ temperature, salinity, velocity, concentrations of nutrients and plankton, ensonification, irradiance and suspended sediments. Such estimates, including real time nowcasts and forecasts as well as simulations, are now feasible because of the advent of Ocean Observing and Prediction Systems, in which: (i) a set of coupled interdisciplinary models are linked to; (ii) an observational network consisting of various sensors mounted on a variety of platforms; and (iii) via data assimilation schemes. Compatible multiscale nested grids for the models and observations are essential. The Harvard Ocean Prediction System (HOPS) is such a system: it is generic, portable and flexible, and is being and has been used in many regions of the world ocean. HOPS is a central component of both the advanced Littoral Ocean Observing and Prediction System (LOOPS) being developed collaboratively under the National Ocean Partnership Program, and of the prototype Advanced Fisheries Management Information System (AFMIS). These advanced systems exemplify the research directions and needs of the ocean science community for novel and efficient distributed information systems, which can only be realized by a powerful integrated effort in concert with the computational, distributed system and engineering communities.

Allan R. Robinson, Ph.D., is Gordon McKay Professor of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, where he has served as the Director of the Center for Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Chairman of the Committee on Oceanography. He holds a B.A. (mcl), M.A., and Ph.D., all in physics from Harvard University, and Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Liege. Professor Robinson is currently the Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Center for Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth), and has held numerous visiting professorships, including the Slichter Professorship (UCLA), the COMNAVOCEANCOM Professorship (Naval Postgraduate School), and the Franqui Professorship (University of Liege). He has been Visiting Scientist or Professor at the NATO SACLANT Undersea Research Centre, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Cambridge University, Imperial College (London), and the Indian Institute of Sciences (Bangalore). He was awarded the ONR Distinguished Educators Award in Ocean Science in 1991. Professor Robinson's research interests and contributions have encompassed dynamics of rotating and stratified fluids, boundary-layer flows, thermocline dynamics, the dynamics and modeling of ocean currents, and the influence of physical processes on biological dynamics in the ocean. He is recognized as one of the pioneer and leading experts in modern ocean prediction, and has contributed significantly to the techniques for the assimilation of data into ocean forecasting models. Professor Robinson has served on numerous national and international advisory committees, including the Ocean Sciences and Naval Studies Boards of the National Research Council. He chairs and has chaired many programs and working groups for international cooperative science, including those associated with ocean mesoscale dynamics, ocean prediction, the Mediterranean Sea, global ecosystem dynamics, and the global coastal ocean. Prof. Robinson is currently lead PI of the NOPP program LOOPS. He has authored and edited more than a hundred and fifty research articles and books, and is currently editor-in-chief of the prestigious series of treatises, The Sea, and the journal, Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans. Professor Robinson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union.

``The Metadata Landscape: Conventions for Semantics, Structure, and Syntax in the Internet Commons''
Dr. Stuart Weibel, Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Friday, May 15, 11:00-11:45, Concord B Ballroom

Stuart Weibel has worked in the Office of Research at OCLC since 1985. During this time he has managed projects in the areas of automated cataloging, document capture and structure analysis, and electronic publishing. He currently coordinates the Dublin Core Metadata Workshop Series and related applications of World Wide Web technology and Internet protocol standardization efforts. Dr. Weibel is also a founding member of the World Wide Web Conference Coordinating Committee.

``Information Science Initiatives at NASA''
Dr. William J. Campbell, NASA
Friday, May 15, Luncheon speaker, Concord B Ballroom

A major barrier to the wider use of Earth remote sensing data is timely access to satellite data products that can be combined easily with other resource management applications already in use by the general user community. The Regional Applications Center program was initiated by Goddard Space Flight Center's Applied Information Science Branch, to extend the benefits of its information technology research and cost-effective system development to a broader user community. This talk will highlight a variety of technologies being developed to support this program.

William J. Campbell is the Head of the Applied Information Science Branch at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The Branch is responsible for the development of intelligent information and data management value-added systems. He also serves as an Associate Editor for the Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing Journal, and has served as a member of the Committee on Information, Robotics, and Intelligent Systems, and Human Centered Systems for the National Science Foundation and as a Committee Member of the National Resource Council of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of over 25 NASA awards including NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal. He has been at NASA for 19 years.

Dr. Joseph Bordogna, National Science Foundation
Friday, May 15, Dinner Speaker, Concord A Ballroom

Joseph Bordogna is Acting Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the National Science Foundation. Complementing his NSF duties, he has chaired Committees on Manufacturing and Environmental Technologies within the President's National Science and Technology Council, was a member of the Federal Government's Technology Reinvestment Project team (TRP), and serves on the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) Committee, and the U.S.-Japan Joint Optoelectronics Project.

He received the B.S.E.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the S.M. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As well as his assignment at NSF, his career includes experience as a line officer in the U.S. Navy, a practicing engineer in industry, and a professor.

Prior to appointment at NSF, he served at the University of Pennsylvania as Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Engineering, Director of The Moore School of Electrical Engineering, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Faculty Master of Stouffer College House, a living-learning student residence at the University.

He has made contributions to the engineering profession in a variety of areas including early laser communications systems, electro-optic recording materials, and holographic television playback systems. He was a founder of PRIME (Philadelphia Regional Introduction for Minorities to Engineering) and served on the Board of The Philadelphia Partnership for Education, community coalitions providing, respectively, supportive academic programs for K-12 students and teachers.

He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

``Workflow and Process Automation in Information Systems: A Proposal for a Multi-disciplinary Research Agenda and Follow-up''
Prof. Amit P. Sheth, University of Georgia
Saturday, May 16, 8:30-8:45, Earhart/Lindbergh Suite

The final report written by a multidisciplinary team of researchers following the NSF workshop on Workflow and Process Automation in Information Systems (http://lsdis.cs.uga.edu/activities/NSF-workflow) stated:

``Work Activity Coordination involves such multidisciplinary research and goes beyond the current thinking in contemporary workflow management and Business Process Reengineering (BPR). In particular, instead of perceiving problems in prototypical terms such as the information factory, white-collar work and bureaucracy, we believe that this limited point of view can be explained by a lack of synergy between organizational science, methodologies, and computer science. Multidisciplinary research projects, based on mutual respect and willingness to learn from another discipline, can help to create a thriving research community that builds upon the strengths of different disciplines, such as distributed systems, database management, software process management, software engineering, organizational sciences, and others.''

After a review of workshop results, we will discuss our research agenda in extending this emphasis on coordination to also include collaboration, information management and other scientific domains. We will discuss some new challenges in building a work coordination and collaboration environment to support virtual teams, which can support more effortless and productive human participation, and more flexible or dynamic interactions that are distributed in space and time.

We will also briefly discuss the follow-up to the workshop in two community building efforts. First is the launching of the NSF co-sponsored web-based open resource and repository, WORP, for research in WORkflow and Process management in Information Systems (http://lsdis.cs.uga.edu/worp). The second is a group effort in initiating the International Joint Conference on Work Activities Coordination and Collaboration with the sponsorship of four ACM SIGs.

Dr. Amit Sheth directs the Large Scale Distributed Information Systems Lab (LSDIS, http://lsdis.cs.uga.edu/), is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Georgia, and the President of Infocosm, Inc. (http://www.infocosm.com). Earlier he worked for nine years in the R&D labs at Bellcore, Unisys, and Honeywell. His research interests are in developing work coordination and collaboration systems through intelligent integration of collaboration, collaboration and information management technologies, and in enabling Infocosm through semantic interoperability and information brokering. His research has led to two commercial products. A selection of his professional activities include four recent conference/workshop keynotes in the areas of workflow management and semantic interoperability, organization of the NSF workshop on Workflow and Process Automation in Information System, serving as a co-director of NATO ASI on Workflow Management Systems and Interoperability, and serving as the steering committee chair of the ACM International Joint Conference on Work Activities Coordination and Collaboration.

``Interfaces to Scientific Data Archives''
Dr. Roy D. Williams, California Institute of Technology
Saturday, May 16, 8:45-9:00, Earhart/Lindbergh Suite

Dr. Williams will report some of the findings, open issues, and conclusions from the workshop Interfaces to Scientific Data Archives, held in Pasadena, California, March 25-27, 1998.

Dr. Williams received a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics at Cambridge and a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech (1983). After postdocs in nuclear and solid-state physics at Caltech and Oxford, he worked with Fox and Messina at Caltech making parallel computers work for scientific simulation. His current work concerns building active digital libraries for scientific data, with collaborative archive projects in gravitational waves, remote sensing, geology, astronomy, and high-energy physics.

``Integrating Biological Databases''
Prof. Peter Buneman, University of Pennsylvania
Saturday, May 16, 9:00-9:15, Earhart/Lindbergh Suite

PostScript slides

Data associated with the Human Genome Project is widely distributed and stored in an extraordinary variety of data formats and data management systems. The structure of these databases is complex and rapidly evolving. I shall describe some of the challenges and successes in integrating these data sources, which is required for almost any form of hypothesis testing or data mining.

Peter Buneman is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is interested in databases, programming languages, and in the common principles of these subjects. He has also worked extensively in problems of data integration, and, with the database group at Penn, has developed integration software that is being applied in biological and other domains.

``STEP Models and Technology''
Dr. Peter R. Wilson, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group
Saturday, May 16, Luncheon speaker, Wright Suite

Dr. Peter Wilson is a Principal Engineer at the Boeing Company working in the area of information modeling and STEP. Early in his career he was a semiconductor physicist in the UK before moving into solid modeling. He has worked in industry, academia and government research laboratories in the US and has been active in data exchange standards for almost twenty years. He is a past Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications and co-author of the book Information Modeling the EXPRESS Way.

DICPM Home Page
Workshop Participants
Workshop Program
Position Papers
Executive Summary
Workshop Report
Summary of Workshop Results and Conclusions
Background Material
Photographs from the Workshop


URL: http://deslab.mit.edu/DesignLab/dicpm/presentations.html
Last modified: Jan 24, 1999