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Status of WebBased Collaborative Tools


Yahoo staff asking in depth questions from users browsing either their knowledge ... with computers, papers, programs and sensors instead of news and stocks ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Status of WebBased Collaborative Tools

Status of Web-BasedCollaborative Tools
  • 17 January 2001 ARL Aberdeen Md.
  • Geoffrey Fox
  • Florida State University
  • Department of Computer Science and
  • CSIT (School of Computational Science and
    Information Technology)
  • 400 Dirac Science Library
  • Tallahassee
  • Florida 32306-4120

Topics to be Covered
  • Introduction What is a Collaboratory and
    Collaboration Technology Tools, Standards,
  • Web Conferencing Tools (Centra, WebEx,
    PlaceWare, Latitude)
  • Learning Management Systems (Blackboard and
  • Learning Object standards IMS and ADL
  • Authoring and Authoring Standards from
    Macromedia, Adobe, .. Flash, SVG, VML,
  • Palmtop Interfaces and Comments on Palmtop
  • Portals for education and computing.
  • Putting it all together MetaObject Event-based
    Computing Paradigm

What are we Trying to do I?
  • Build web-based support for people to interact
    with each other and with other resources
    computers, documents, instruments
  • This was originally called a Collaboratory by
    Bill Wulf in a famous Science article in volume
    261, 13 Aug 1993
  • We must do this while technology is rapidly
    changing and while we are not certain what
    collaborative tools, scientists will actually use
    i.e. requirements are not known
  • We will find a set of successful capabilities
    where some consensus exists as to what they do
    and how they look to users these are typically
    (now) commercialized
  • There are some clearly useful technologies and
    standards on which to build we will mention
    these en passant
  • Need to identify those areas where there is a
    potential requirement and Industry will not
    provide (or render our solution invalid) in next
    year or so

What are we Trying to do II?
  • Object Web technology suggests how systems ought
    to built today
  • Program in Java
  • Data Structures in XML
  • Use multi tier architecture
  • There are some important internet trends which
    suggest where systems will go
  • Bandwidth and latency of networks (Gilders law)
  • growing use of Palmtop devices
  • Advising you as to what systems work and how to
    support them
  • Discussing differences and similarities between
    support of training, administration and research

Collaboratory Applications
  • Distance Education including advanced seminars
    and training
  • Help Desk including
  • Microsoft helping user debug problem on home PC
    (connected to Internet)
  • MSRC consulting staff interacting over distance
    in real time with a user with a program bug
  • Yahoo staff asking in depth questions from users
    browsing either their knowledge or Shopping sites
  • Scientists brainstorming difficult research
    issues in distributed locations
  • Virtual communities around the world from
    children chatting to each other or integration of
    distributed organizations (like ARL)
  • Indian Nation remaining in their homeland but
    participating electronically in modern economy
  • Implementing next round of PET activities
  • Crisis Management and Command and Control for

Basic Principles in Building Systems
  • Everything electronic is by definition an Object
  • Some objects are easier to deal with than others
  • All (systems) software will be written in Java
  • As it has best software engineering properties
  • All Object (meta)data and data streams will be
    defined in XML
  • Whether you use COM, CORBA, Jini/RMI, SOAP, HLA
    Object Model
  • All Systems built in multi-tier fashion so front
    end rendering and back end functionality are

XML Datastream
XML Interfaces
Object Web Portals think of things as objects and
System View
User View
CORBA or Java Broker or Server
XML Requestfor service followed byreturn of
Universal Interfaces IDL or XML
Computing PortalsportalML Interface www.computi
Grid ForumresourceML Interface www.gridforum.or
Use of Object Technology in Computing I
  • Basic Principle Use object technology wherever
  • This will give you a more productive development
    environment which are easier to maintain
  • Objects can be used at different granularities
  • Fine and Very Fine Grain
  • The computational kernel
  • The linkage of different kernels as different
  • Characterized by low latency (memory access or
    subroutine call or at worst MPI invocation) -- a
    few nanoseconds to a microsecond
  • Object technologies are not essential here
    although eventually languages like C and Java
    will be preferred solution here
  • Maybe you have a lot of legacy Fortran code in
    this category
  • Converting to Java is probably not the best use
    of scientists time

Use of Object Technology in Computing II
  • Coarse Grain objects characterized by modest
    latency ( but maybe high bandwidth) are where you
    use Object web technology immediately
  • All programs, sensors, datasets, simulations are
  • There are many competing object models -- Java,
    COM, CORBA, SOAP but doesnt matter -- use XML to
    define all objects -- we can convert
  • Data format is not 16I5 or 8F10.4 or even a Java
    or C data structure -- it is defined in XML.
    This ensures interoperability between sensors and
  • Objects can have multiple views -- Oracle can
    think in rows and columns the user as a
    correlated time series -- Internet technology
    filters convert very easily
  • Each Science field should set these XML based
    coarse grain object standards for its area
  • IMS and ADL are doing this for education and
    training. Thousands of other efforts

Example of XML Specifying a Program as an Object
lt?xml version"1.0"?gt lt!DOCTYPE application
SYSTEM "ApplDescV2.dtd"gt ltapplication
idCasc2d" installable"No"gt
selected application lttarget
selected host ltstatus
installed"Yes"/gt ltinstalledgt ltCmdLine
command"/npac/home/haupt/CASC2D/casc2d" /gt
ltinputgt ltinFile Path"/npac/home/haupt/CAS
C2D/lms/" Name""/gt ltsource
Host"" Path"C\LMS\fromEdys\"
Name"" gt lt/inputgt ltoutputgt
ltoutFile Path"/npac/home/haupt/CASC2D/lms/"
Name"sed.out"/gt ltdest Host""
Path"C\LMS\toEdys\" Name"sed.out" gt
lt/outputgt ltstdout Host""
Name"job2001.out" gt ltstderr
Host"" Path"/tmp/"
Name"haupt_job2001.err" gt lt/installedgt lt/target
gt lt/applicationgt
how to run it
it expects this input file
it generates this output file
Actual location of the file
store it permanently here
save stdout
and stderr
Aspects of Collaboration
  • Collaboration means Sharing and we identify three
    classes of capability
  • Share the people Audio/Video Conferencing
  • Basic Tools email, Instant Messenger, Bulletin
    Boards, White board
  • Shared resources i.e. shared objects (Basic tools
    are special case where object is a text message
    or simple drawing)
  • Objects can be shared in several ways
  • Shared display
  • Shared export
  • Shared event
  • Which trade off ease of use versus flexibility
    versus ease of implementation
  • If we share objects and we have a lot of them,
    then we must have management capabilities so we
    can store and retrieve them
  • Management issues have special needs in some
    areas e.g. store grades and homework in learning

Everything is implicitly an ObjectNeed to make
that explicit forCollaboration Systems
Collaborative Visualization
  • Consider a computer program (object above) and
    then its output and input wend their way through
    multiple filters(tiers) until they are finally
    rendered onsome sort of device CAVE through
  • One can share object at any stage in pipeline

Architecture of Collaboration I
  • The web is full of objects web pages sitting
    on web servers and these support asynchronous
  • You post a web page and I later look at it in my
    own time
  • Replacing web document by a CGI script or
    servlet (web interface to program, database etc.)
    gives general multi-tier object sharing
  • This is Publish/Subscribe mechanism
  • If add some mechanism (automatic email or word of
    mouth) to tell viewing client when new
    information is posted
  • We use JMS (Java Message Service) as Industry
    standard for publish/subscribe systems
  • Synchronous Collaboration provides real-time
    notification and automatic update of changed

Architecture of Collaboration II
  • All forms of Collaboration are Event based
  • Different modes Display, Export, Event
    correspond to events generated at different
    places in object rendering pipeline
  • Shared Display Events contain updates to frame
  • Shared Event Events contain updates to state
    of either original or transformed object
  • Shared Export Convert (rendering of) object to
    some standard form that is more flexible than
    bitmap of Shared Display. Build a custom sharing
    for this exported form
  • WebeX uses patented sharing of virtual printer
    which is equivalent to sharing export to PDF
  • I like shared HTML (web pages) or SVG described

Architecture of Collaboration III
Receive eventson subscribedchannels
Exported Object
SubscribingObject II
SubscribingObject I
  • Objects are all copies of each other with
    events maintaining state
  • Result can be identical or different renderings
    e.g. one can choose on subscribing client to
    resize rendering to a larger (so can see) or
    smaller (as PDA) size

Architecture of Collaboration IV
This is replicated between each collaborating
client.It is frame buffer,original
object,Web/SVG/PDF/.. Exportfor Shared
display, eventand export models
  • For each collaborative model, we are sharing and
    replicating an object
  • We just need to choose which version of original
    object to use

Requirements of Collaboration I
  • We have learnt a lot from our own experiments
    (systems called Tango (synchronous) and
    WebWisdom/Virtual Classroom Manager
  • and from study of commercial models
  • WebeX Centra and Placeware (and others) have
    evolved to more or less identical synchronous
  • Yahoo, Excite, NetCenter are asynchronous
    information portals
  • WebCT and Blackboard are asynchronous education
  • There are technology trends of importance
  • Abstract some lessons and requirements for
    (future) systems

Technology Trends and Principles
  • All performance and capability measures of
    infrastructure continue to improve
  • Gilders law says that network bandwidth
    increases 3 times faster than CPU Performance
    (Moores Law)
  • The Telecosm eclipses the Microcosm .

George Gilder Telecosm How Infinite Bandwidth
Will Revolutionize Our World (September 2000,
Free Press ISBN 0684809303, 146 in Amazon
Sales Jan 15 2001)
Small Devices Increasing in Importance
  • There is growing interest in wireless portable
    displays in the confluence of cell phone and
    personal digital assistant markets
  • By 2005, 60 million internet ready cell phones
    sold each year
  • 65 of all Broadband Internet accesses via non
    desktop appliances

Palm Tops help define Client Model
  • One needs to design web systems so they can be
    accessed from either a PDA or a PC or a Powerwall
  • This implies that only code in browser should be
    that immediately needed to relay events between
    user and web system all logic (state) should
    be outside browser.
  • Supports Server based Computing model with
    clients just for rendering

Requirements of Collaboration II
  • Need to support both synchronous and
    asynchronous models in an integrated fashion
  • Some think asynchronous web based education will
    replace conventional methods
  • Maybe role of synchronous (teacher-student
    interaction) shifts from lecturing to mentoring
  • Implies need to archive synchronous sessions for
    later replay
  • Implies build collaborative portals
  • Need to support PDA and PC seamlessly
  • Define content in XML and use style-sheets or
    other transformation tools to map into HTML (PC)
    or WML (PDA)
  • This is part of portalML
  • Collaboration implies sharing objects the
    better object structure exposed, the better
    sharing is possible
  • So define everything you can in XML (ResourceML)
  • We can share Word/PowerPoint best in Web or SVG
    form as this is universal export. Could build a
    custom office sharing tool but hard

Requirements of Collaboration III
  • Predict that future will see higher quality web
    pages as Web allows more competition (e.g.
    between education providers)
  • So need to understand how to share pages written
    with Macromedia Flash and other high end
    authoring tools
  • Need to migrate to evolving standards whether
    sure things like SMIL (multimedia) or W3C
    Universal Access or possibles like OpenOffice or
  • Must assume all commercial and indeed academic
    products will evolve (rapidly) and so generic
    collaboration framework strongly preferred
  • Special requirements of Science and HPCC
  • Share Mathematics (MathML) and other science
    symbols (e.g. molecules) in scientific whiteboard
  • Share Computing (submit jobs, visualization etc.)

Summary of Architecture
  • Multi-tier with resourceML to define Objects and
    portalML to define client server interface and
    dissociate Object and its rendering
  • Server side logic to allow range of clients and
    exploit increasing network bandwidth
  • Automatically gives universal archiving
  • Publish/Subscribe can be used as universal
    mechanism for synchronous and asynchronous
  • only need latencies of fractions of a second
    as this built already due to browser update time,
    long distance transmission time etc. (JMS
    latencies around 0.1 second for modest size
    message going from publisher to subscriber)
  • Will need multicast (not in JMS) to scale to lots
    of clients
  • Naturally supported by event based model of
    computing with all transactions expressed as time
    stamped messages (events) which are archived and
    forwarded by middle tier

MetaObject Event-based Computing Paradigm
  • Abstracting this we come to following model
  • All entities are MetaObjects defined in
    universal GXOS XML Syntax Meta means GXOS
    doesnt really want to manage Object, just
    information required to find, render and share it
  • Rendering includes Palm devices as well as PCs
  • Entities are people, computers, data sources,
    information from e-mail, scientific visualization
    to digitized Bible
  • All actions including object changes are events
    all events are GXOS objects
  • e-mail, paging etc. are all GXOS events uniformly
    routed/archived etc.
  • All action is instantiated or recorded in
    messages which are events themselves
  • All events are archived allowing actions to be
    undone and to be reviewed
  • There is an MetaObject Shell with basic Services
    (copy, create etc.)

Overall Structure of GXOS
Global Root
Have a hierarchy of these
GXOS Capabilities
Global Root
All of these are GXOS Objects
Default Object 1
Any Sharedlet
GXOSShellScript 1
Default Setup 1
myPET Portal Interface
  • Yahoo Messenger is an interesting model for the
    myPET or more generally myProfessor (Education)
    or myHPCC (general computing) interface
  • Small Application that invokes browser
  • Runs on PC or Palmtop and only contains summary
    information suitable for Palms can we use Java
  • Has services like file manipulation, send a
    message and set of custom buttons
  • Access News, Weather, Stocks etc.
  • Develop myPET with computers, papers, programs
    and sensors instead of news and stocks
  • Develop myProfessor with school events, classes

Typical Virtual Class(Meeting)room
  • Invoke this from myACES or myProfessor
  • See Centra, Placeware, WebEx.

Control buttons for Audio/Video/Floor Control etc.
Lecture Page Annotations (student,
teacher) Pointers etc.
Alert/Raise Hands
Chat Room
Invoke Quiz
Typical MyProfessor Interface
  • Messages will give you access to email, instant
    messenger, voice messages, alerts etc.
  • Agents scan for useful resources you requested
    e.g. news about Enterprise Javabeans
  • Calendar and Scheduler supports CDIS, CAP and CIP
    data Interchange, access and Interoperability
    standards (see iPlanet Calendar Server 2.1)

Synchronous Virtual Environments
  • Several similar systems offering shared display
    and shared export (for PowerPoint)
  • Commercial WebeX Centra Placeware Latitude
  • Public Domain VNC shared display
  • Limited functionality in areas of archiving,
    export models, management and PDA support
  • VNC designed for different problem client
    doing administration on multiple remote machines
    and not optimized for one master and lots of
  • Audio-Video Support limited Centra has built
    in Windows audio (with Java front end). WebeX
    using Lipstream and perhaps HearMe
  • Have built in shared annotation of display and
    chat/whiteboard tools

Commercial Collaboration and Training Systems I
  • October 19 2000 WebEx Communications, Inc. the
    leader in communications infrastructure for Web
    meetings, today announced record results for its
    third quarter, ending September 2000. WebEx added
    more than 700 new customers this quarter,
    bringing the total number of customers to more
    than 1800.
  • During the third quarter, ATT and Global
    Crossing announced the integration of WebEx
    services into their communications solutions, and
    Commerce One announced that WebEx services have
    been integrated into their next generation
    Commerce One.netTM. WebEx's list of new customers
    this quarter contains industry leaders in
    aerospace, automotive, computer software,
    computer hardware, consulting services, financial
    services, healthcare, real estate and legal
    services. New customers include 3-M, Aberdeen
    Group, Ace Hardware, Altera, Associated General
    Contractors (ACG), BancTec Inc., Blue Martini,
    Briggs Stratton, Brown Brothers Harriman Co.,
    CheckFree Corp., Cosine Communications, Emory
    University, Enron Energy Info Solutions, Fiserve,
    Inc., FleetBoston Financial, Forrester Research,
    Grubb Ellis, Hewlett-Packard, Keystone
    Solutions, Kyocera Wireless Corp., Medtronic,
    Motorola, NEC America, Nexprise, Proxicom,
    Razorfish, Sunguard, Toyota Motors, Wilson
    Sonsini Goodrich Rosati, ZDNet and Ziff-Davis
    among others.

Commercial Collaboration and Training Systems II
  • Oct. 12, 2000-- Centra the world's leading
    provider of software infrastructure and ASP
    services for live eLearning and Internet business
    collaboration, today announced results for the
    third quarter and nine months ended September 30,
  • Centra added 73 new customers in the third
    quarter, bringing the total customer base to 350
    accounts. Some highlights include
  • Centra continues to grow its extensive customer
    base, serving more than one million users across
    all industry sectors and geographies.
    Contributions to this rapid growth in the third
    quarter were highlighted by
  • The selection of Centra by Andersen Consulting,
    one of the world's largest professional services
    firms, as the company's standard infrastructure
    for the delivery of live eLearning to the
    company's 65,000 employees.
  • A significant initial deployment at Coca-Cola
    Company, the world's largest soft drink provider
    with over 35,000 employees, to provide eLearning
    delivery infrastructure for global SAP end user
    training and ongoing change management
  • Siemens AG selected Centra as the corporate
    eLearning and collaboration standard to support
    communications and planning among the company's
    top 1,500 global operations executives. In
    addition, Siemens, which operates in over 190
    countries, will use Centra to support their
    extensive SAP rollout through hands-on end user
    training over the Internet.

Learning Management Systems
  • Learning Object standards ADL and IMS from DoD
    and education community
  • Most education and training stresses
    asynchronous or web support for conventional
  • WebCT Blackboard Lotus(IBM) and others offer LMS
    systems with limited synchronous capability
  • Support typical educational needs like grading,
    quizzes, homework, glossaries, group email
  • Varying database backend and
  • Varying authoring support
  • Popular with colleges as supports not so expert
  • DoD use less clear as dont need homework etc.
  • No built in support for areas like programming
    labs (VPL from NPAC did this)

Learning Management Tools
  • Integrated solutions have problem that cannot
    compete well in any one area
  • E.g. Blackboard (initially) did not support Java
    applets in curriculum pages
  • Quizzes do not support (yet) CAPA capabilities to
    personalize them (http//
  • We mention two projects built at NPAC with
    focused capabilities
  • TMD supports training at ASC
  • Virtual Classroom Manager (Mehmet Sen Thesis)
    which was used for several years in PET to
    support classes for homework and grading with
    very simple quizzes
  • Instant Messenger and Calendar/Schedulers are
    other generic tools which can be used if you
    adopt modular approach

Learning Objects
  • Given changing technology, need standards to
    protect investment in authoring and
    administrative data generated and stored in
  • Educational Environment Educause set up IMS
    http// Instructional
    Management System with selection of companies and
  • IMS focus was changed to drop implementation work
    and is now Global Learning Consortium Inc.
  • Department of Defense (which has huge training
    needs) set up ADL Advanced Distributed Learning
  • whose links section includes all
    other useful URLs
  • IEEE (Computing Community) set up P1484 Learning
    Technology Standards Committee LTSC

LMS Model used by ADL
Critical InterchangeCapability
Areas (Object Properties) Covered
  • Metadata from IEEE and IMS
  • Roughly Properties of educational objects thought
    of as documents (author, title )
  • Course Packaging from SCORM and IMS
  • How to form bigger units of instruction from
    smaller units
  • Called Content Packaging by IMS and Course
    Structure Format (CSF) by SCORM which goes in
    greater depth than IMS
  • Tests and Quizzes from IMS
  • Specialized CSF descriptors from SCORM (via CMI)
  • Such as objectives, prerequisites, completion
  • LMS Runtime API from SCORM I am doubtful about
  • Enterprise Properties from IMS
  • Link to people and organization databases (rather
    incomplete at present but must be important as
    probably can agree)

Audio-Video Conferencing
  • In Tango training, audio-video conferencing was
    always problematical
  • Video may or may not be necessary Internet only
    supports postage stamp talking heads
  • Audio only requires a few kilobits per second but
    quality of service critical and not likely to be
    supported on current Internet
  • HearMe desktop audio Support general mix of
    internet and ordinary phone lines which have
  • Quality of service and good echo canceling etc.
    on high-end phones
  • Should work with modem (28.8 kilobits per second)
  • Access-Grid community audio/video Supports
    multiple high-quality audio and video streams
  • Each client client needs 20 megabits per second

  • Authoring on the Web can include
  • Basic HTML
  • Macromedia/Adobe/etc. packages like Fireworks,
    Dreamweaver, Illustrator
  • PowerPoint and Word exported
  • Also can include RealNetworks or Microsoft or ..
    Format Multimedia
  • Note Streaming multimedia formats have larger
    buffers than A/V conferencing formats
  • Pressure to improve web quality
  • Training and Education need a lot of material
    and so custom editing of each page not practical
  • Using XML to specify content and include this in
    beautiful framework seems best
  • SVG and SMIL are 2D vector graphics and
    multimedia standards
  • HTML does not give reproducible pages
  • Flash can be thought of as proprietary SVG

Macromedia Flash is Premier Web Authoring Tool?
Vector Graphics EnsuresScalableImages
Hand Held Internet
  • So we will have convenient hand-held devices
    linked to the wireless internet
  • Wireless Internet is basically the same as
    conventional Internet except that content is
    optimized for size and communication limitations
    of wireless systems
  • Current bandwidth is around 14.4 kbaud poor
  • Maybe WAN Cellphone bandwidth will be limited for
    near future
  • Bluetooth standard should give hand-held
    devices megabit per second communication
    bandwidth for LAN
  • Two positives for the wireless hand-held device
  • Cheaper than a PC (relevant for students)
  • More portable and more pervasively useable than a
  • Grid on the Go Meeting April 2001

Collaborative Palm Tops
  • Shared Display Share pixels between clients
  • Shared Event Share URL between clients in
    general have different versions (WAP for
    Palm-top, HTML/HTTP for PCs) of display
    controlled by same XML content

Collaboration Server
URL or (scaled)frame buffer
Web Server
Hand Held devices and Wireless
  • Ubiquitous access to resources from palm-top
    devices will new access modes from simple job
    submission through visualization of results
  • Control large screendisplays Banksand
  • Control active walls ofFlat Panel screens
  • Support in Gateway forjob submittal
  • Collaborative client inresearch or training
  • Shared display or Sharedweb-page with
    differentmodes for each type of device

Two Hand Held Prototypes
  • Latest release of VNC (public domain shared
    display) for Palm tops is quite impressive fast
    and includes server side resizing for reducing
    shared display for smaller hand held display
  • We have a prototype of a Java client in a Palm
    controlling 3D object on PowerWall through a
    wireless connection

Real Time Collaborative Systems
  • Real time situations demand immediate response
    from anywhere expert
  • spacecraft reports unexpected problem
  • IMT test surprise
  • Commanders or field personnel in Crisis
  • Scientific analysis during aftershocks of
  • Collaboration (must bring in special expert) and
    support of diverse displays maybe critical
    person only has Palmtop are particularly
    important in these application
  • Synchronous and asynchronous

quake location, size --
sorted station potential --
Dial Stations(and database)
station raw files --
station motions --
--maps for civil authorities
single-fault model
multi-fault model
Boulder (University of Colorado)
web simplex
--graphics --refined fault model
--graphics --hazard model
SharedBrowserof Simulation Results
Will become myACES
Shared map of faults/sensors
SCEC Demo (Sept 99)Collaboration in GEM
Earthquake Analysis System
Collaborative Portal
Persistent Store of Earthquake Data
Real Time control And sensor data
Asynchronous Access
Real time Share
Synchronous Distributed Science
HTML WML/WAP Rendering Standards
What is a Web Portal?
  • It is a just a web-based application
  • Commodity Portal is Web-based Information Source
    (Yahoo) or Shop (Amazon)
  • Enterprise Information Portal is Lotus Notes
    done right
  • Education Portal is a Web-based University
  • Computing Portal is a Problem Solving
  • Well defined Interfaces based on
  • Grid Forum -- Computing
  • IMS/ADL/IEEE LTSC -- Education
  • And a set of Services and Tools

Commodity Portals are Web Interfaces for Consumers
Yahoo, NetCenter,, etc. are
portals fore-commerce, news etc.
Portals in Computing and Education
  • Merrill Lynch predicts that Enterprise
    Information portal market will be 15B by 2002
  • Unfortunately it is not trivial to re-use some
    key commodity systems as they do not provide the
    right level of interfaces to add capabilities
    like collaboration and security
  • We must adopt architecture that maximizes chance
    that can use new commercial capabilities when
    they become available
  • Multi-media, Handheld infrastructure are areas
    where industry ahead of academia

Hardest Problem
Wish to re-usecomponents betweenEducation
and Computing
Hierarchy of Portals and Their Technology
  • Portal Building Tools and Frameworks (XUL,
    Ninja, iPlanet, E-Speak, Portlets, WebSphere,

Generic Portals
Collaboration Universal Access Security .
Generic Services
User customization, component libraries,fixed
Information Services
Databases .
Enterprise Portals
Quizzes Grading ...
Compute Services
Education Services
Grid Services Visualization ...
MathML etc
Education andTraining Portals
Science Portals
GEM Computational Environment Multi-Tier
Backend Services
Middleware Bunch of Web Servers and Object Brokers
Collaboration SecurityLookup Registration Agents/
Application Integration Visualization
Server Seamless Access
PET Computing Portal Driving Requirements
  • Goal is to maximize productivity of
    (Super)computer center user
  • Provide in a single web interface myPET, all
    resources needed for HPCMO and DoD Research and
  • Display Sensor results
  • Initiate and visualize simulations
  • Necessary information -- from program
    documentation to latest technical reports
  • Contact colleagues in real-time (audio/video
    conferencing) or asynchronously (email etc.)
  • Support access from hand-held (Palm) devices
  • Allow customization of choice and arrangement of

Services in Computing Portals
  • Security
  • Fault Tolerance
  • Object Lookup and Registration
  • Object Persistence and Database support (as in
  • Event and Transaction Services
  • Collaboration among scientists around world
  • Job Status as in HotPage (NPACI) and myGrid
  • File Services (as in NPACI Storage Resource
  • Support (XML based) computational science
    specific metadata like MathML, XSIL
  • Visualization
  • Programming
  • Application Integration (chaining services viewed
    as backend compute filters)
  • Seamless Access and integration of resources
    between different users/application domains
  • Parameter Specification Service (get data from
    Web form into Fortran program wrapped as backend

Gateway Portal
  • Supports Kerberos Security for DoD
  • Supported by DoD HPCMO ASC and ARL
  • Involves work by Furmanski (Syracuse) and Haupt

Current Generic Gateway Interface
Select Code to Run
Wrapped CodesUse Caltech XSILfor XML
One could interface via Globus. Sufficient to
submit to ASC Job scheduler
Review Previous Runs
A Sample Collaboratory
  • Here is a sample collaboratory designed for
    HallD a proposed experiment at DoEs
    Jefferson Laboratory
  • HallD produces 1015 data or simulation objects
    per year
  • HallD involves hundreds of scientists around the
    country collaborating in taking data, processing
    it and analyzing it to find nifty science
  • One first would establish HallD Digital Object
    Standard covering everything from LED on
    experimental apparatus, data produced in each
    part of apparatus, plots and other analysis
    artifacts, presentations and papers

MyHallD Collaborative Portal
  • MyHallD is the portal door to the
  • Virtual HallD Experiment Control Room
  • Virtual HallD Monte Carlo Farm
  • Virtual HallD DST Factory
  • Virtual HallD Physics Engine
  • Virtual HallD Board Room
  • HallD Education and Outreach Area
  • These share access to HallD digital objects but
    access (and make) them in different ways and are
    optimized in different ways
  • They share certain features and services
  • All actions are logged (in XML) and archived
  • Common security infrastructure
  • Access can be from PC or Hand Held device

Features of MyHallD and its HallD Virtual Places
  • MyHallD would have
  • Handles to open 6 Community Virtual Places as
    well as ability to open private virtual rooms
  • HallD/Jefferson/HEP Calendar, Phone lists etc.
  • News Items with browser links
  • Experiment Status etc.
  • Invoke basic Collaboration Tools Internet
    Phone Local and remote cameras Chat Whiteboard
  • Automatic Update (to myHallD) Feature
  • Indicator as to which places you are in and who
    else is active there.
  • To do list for you in HallD
  • Gentle and Crass ways of getting peoples

Features of Virtual MyHallD Places
  • HallD Board room can be done today for some
    capabilities using WebEx Placeware or Centra
  • DST Factory and Monte Carlo Farm do not require
    significant synchronous collaboration build
    computing portals for standard Physics packages
  • Need strong management functions
  • HallD Physics Engine could benefit from
    innovative user interfaces and collaboration in
    analysis of results
  • Here is where difficult decisions made (how to
    run Minuit optimization program) and distributed
    experts could be useful
  • Share analysis results and choice of parameters
    for future large analysis (which partial waves to
  • HallD Education and Outreach can use Virtual
    Classroom model being developed by several vendors

Features of Virtual MyHallD Places
  • Virtual Experiment Control Room could be a big
    win as (unexpected) real-time decisions need
  • Similar model with DoD and IMT experiments or
    NASA for remote spacecraft mission control and
    real-time scientific analysis of earthquakes
  • Needs to evaluate collaborative decision making
    (vote?) and planning tools
  • Needs to allow shared streaming data as well as
    shared read-outs of experimental monitors (output
    of all devices must be distributed objects which
    can be shared)
  • Needs to support experts caught on their sailboat
    with poor connectivity or in their car with just
    a cell phone and a PDA