Experiment Explorer: Connecting Distributed Team eScience Artifacts


ExperimentExplorerMore and more, eScience experiments incorporate multiple tools, running in various environments, which produce heterogeneous artifacts. More importantly, such experiments often require various fields of expertise, resulting in a diverse team of researchers. In order to connect distributed artifacts that result in these settings, we have created the Experiment Explorer Tool. Experiment Explorer collects metadata for artifacts from multiple runs of a single experiment, each of which is connected to an overview of the experiment.

Since these artifacts and contributing intermediate results are produced in a loosely distributed computing environment (networked personnel workstations), Experiment Explorer is designed to leverage a modified 3-tier client-server architecture. Each networked workstation is responsible to update the central index with metadata about new Experiment data items as they are produced.

Currently, individual parts of Experiment Explorer have been developed. A tool for reporting new or modified files within a given directory exists. A system for analyzing and indexing given files has also been developed. The UI, main application server, and data server components have also been developed. However, we have yet to integrate these components. While this can be easily accomplished, it is only the first step in providing a relational provenance record for the distributed artifacts.

In future work, we would like to connect the indexed items in relational manner, using Prov-O. Our technique enables connecting the mined file metadata to its respective experiment, but we would also like to know what item was used in which analysis, and the processes that contributed to the analysis.

For students who are interested in this project, we use the following technologies: Apache Solr, Apache Tomcat, HTML, JavaScript, Java, and Apache POI. For more information, contact Del Davis.


Delmar B. Davis, Hazeline U. Asuncion, Ghaleb M. Abdulla, and Christopher W. Carr., Towards Recovering Provenance with Experiment Explorer, In the Fifth International Conference on Information, Process, and Knowledge Management (eKNOW), February 2013.

Delmar B. Davis, Hazeline U. Asuncion, Ghaleb Abdulla. Experiment Explorer: Lightweight Provenance Search over Metadata. USENIX Workshop on the Theory and Practice of Provenance (TaPP), June 2012.


Experiment Explorer presentation at TaPP 2012



This work is based upon work supported by the US National Science Foundation under Grant No. ACI 1350724. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.

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