Instrument Element and ARC

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In the past few years, the idea of extending the Grid to cover also the remote access, control, and management of instrument devices has been explored in a few initiatives. Existing tools lack in generality and require advanced specialized computer science knowledge, thus making them inaccessible for broad adoption in the scientific community. The main aim of the integration of the Instrument Element and ARC ( ) is: (i) to perform an preliminary investigation on how to make such tools more accessible, and (ii) to implement a software component that will interact with a standard Grid Middleware.

Introduction and Motivations

The Instrument Element (IE) (see figure below) is a Cloud and/or Grid component that provides the computational and data infrastructure with an abstraction of real instruments and users with a more interactive interface to control them.


In order to achieve a fast interaction with the instrument element component, users can directly access the controlled instrument using a Control Room. Or, as a second possibility, an instrument operation can be part of a complex workflow managed by a Grid execution service that allows the IE to access and converse with the computational Grid. Therefore, from an intuitive point of view, the IE should:

  • Provide uniform access to the physical device
  • Allow standard Grid access to the instruments
  • Allow cooperation between different instruments that belong to different Virtual Organizations

We need to point out that IE users do not need to be a human. Other software components must be able to control the Instruments.

Grid interaction up till now has conceptualized the Grid as an external component, with effective bridging executed by software components like workflow engines (ie. ). The purpose of this work is to understand the limits of this approach and to understand when a direct embedding of the Grid User Interface into the IE is more suitable. We have selected ARC as initial Middleware for this investigation due to its simplicity.

Proposed Solution(s)

We are working on it! Results will come soon. Please consider contributing to this effort!

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