Gridifying Neuroscientific Pipelines: A SOA Recipe and Experience from the neuGRID Project

Gridifying Neuroscientific Pipelines: A SOA Recipe and Experience from the neuGRID Project

David Manset
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2455-9.ch098
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In recent times, innovative new e-Infrastructures have materialized all around the globe to address the compelling and unavoidably increasing demand on computing power and storage capacity. All fields of science have entered an era of digital explosion and thus need to face it with appropriate and scalable instruments. Amongst century’s cutting-edge technologies, the grid has become a tangible candidate which several initiatives have harnessed and demonstrated the added value of. Turning the concept into a concrete solution for Neurosciences, the neuGRID project aims to establish a grid-based e-Infrastructure providing neuroscientists with a powerful tool to address the challenge of developing and testing new markers of neurodegenerative diseases. In order to optimize the resulting grid and to deliver a user-friendly environment, neuGRID has engaged the process of migrating existing imaging and data mining toolkits to the grid, the so-called gridification, while developing a surrounding service oriented architecture of agnostic biomedical utilities. This chapter reports on a preliminary analysis of the issues faced in the gridification of neuroimaging pipelines and attempts to sketch an integration model able to cope with the several and heterogeneous applications used by neuroscientists.
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Approach to Design

The major goal that guided the present design specification process was to establish a coarse-grained view of the system from the gathered users’ requirements. This exercise was useful to identify major software layers, inner constituents and corresponding interfaces, while helping in better splitting the work and responsibilities among collaborators.

Similarly to the Service Oriented Modelling and Architecture (SOMA) (Arsanjani, 2004) process, coworkers aimed at identifying features and gradually grouping them into logical layers for future implementation. Thus, a meet-in-the-middle approach was adopted which reconciled requirements expressed by end-users with the bottom-up grid deployments of existing IT assets. The result of this work is here presented using a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) (MacKenzie, et al, 2006), as the focal meeting point and federating concept.

In order to give clarity to this manuscript, only a relevant subset of the requirements and design objectives is introduced, with the aim of focussing on the gridification related aspects. The following section therefore briefly presents the service orientation and associated advantages, while progressively describing the retained system architecture, gridification approach and positioning of author’s contribution. It is important to note that the latter builds upon former contribution and experiences in the area of gridification (Manset, Pourraz, Tsymbal, Revillard, Skaburskas, McClatchey, et al, in press) and e-health platform developments (McClatchey, Manest & Solomonides, 2006).

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