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Über dieses Buch

This book presents an agile and model-driven approach to manage scientific workflows. The approach is based on the Extreme Model Driven Design (XMDD) paradigm and aims at simplifying and automating the complex data analysis processes carried out by scientists in their day-to-day work. Besides documenting the impact the workflow modeling might have on the work of natural scientists, this book serves three major purposes: 1. It acts as a primer for practitioners who are interested to learn how to think in terms of services and workflows when facing domain-specific scientific processes. 2. It provides interesting material for readers already familiar with this kind of tools, because it introduces systematically both the technologies used in each case study and the basic concepts behind them. 3. As the addressed thematic field becomes increasingly relevant for lectures in both computer science and experimental sciences, it also provides helpful material for teachers that plan similar courses.




Scientific Workflows and XMDD

A major part of the scientific experiments that are carried out today requires thorough computational support. While database and algorithm providers face the problem of bundling resources to create and sustain powerful computation nodes, the users have to deal with combining sets of (remote) services into specific data analysis and transformation processes. Today’s attention to “big data” amplifies the issues of size, heterogeneity, and process-level diversity/integration. In the last decade, especially workflow-based approaches to deal with these processes have enjoyed great popularity. This book concerns a particularly agile and model-driven approach to manage scientific workflows that is based on the XMDD paradigm. In this chapter we explain the scope and purpose of the book, briefly describe the concepts and technologies of the XMDD paradigm, explain the principal differences to related approaches, and outline the structure of the book.
Anna-Lena Lamprecht, Tiziana Margaria

Modeling and Execution of Scientific Workflows with the jABC Framework

We summarize here the main characteristics and features of the jABC framework, used in the case studies as a graphical tool for modeling scientific processes and workflows. As a comprehensive environment for service-oriented modeling and design according to the XMDD (eXtreme Model-Driven Design) paradigm, the jABC offers much more than the pure modeling capability. Associated technologies and plugins provide in fact means for a rich variety of supporting functionality, such as remote service integration, taxonomical service classification, model execution, model verification, model synthesis, and model compilation. We describe here in short both the essential jABC features and the service integration philosophy followed in the environment. In our work over the last years we have seen that this kind of service definition and provisioning platform has the potential to become a core technology in interdisciplinary service orchestration and technology transfer: Domain experts, like scientists not specially trained in computer science, directly define complex service orchestrations as process models and use efficient and complex domain-specific tools in a simple and intuitive way.
Anna-Lena Lamprecht, Tiziana Margaria, Bernhard Steffen

The Course’s SIB Libraries

This chapter gives a detailed description of the service framework underlying all the example projects that form the foundation of this book. It describes the different SIB libraries that we made available for the course “Process modeling in the natural sciences” to provide the functionality that was required for the envisaged applications. The students used these SIB libraries to realize their projects.
Anna-Lena Lamprecht, Alexander Wickert

Lessons Learned

This chapter summarizes the experience and the lessons we learned concerning the application of the jABC as a framework for design and execution of scientific workflows. It reports experiences from the domain modeling (especially service integration) and workflow design phases and evaluates the resulting models statistically with respect to the SIB library and hierarchy levels.
Anna-Lena Lamprecht, Alexander Wickert, Tiziana Margaria

Bioinformatics Applications

Protein Classification Workflow

The protein classification workflow described in this report enables users to get information about a novel protein sequence automatically. The information is derived by different bioinformatic analysis tools which calculate or predict features of a protein sequence. Also, databases are used to compare the novel sequence with known proteins.
Judith Reso

Data Mining for Unidentified Protein Sequences

Through the use of next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, a lot of newly sequenced organisms are now available. Annotating those genes is one of the most challenging tasks in sequence biology. Here, we present an automated workflow to find homologue proteins, annotate sequences according to function and create a three-dimensional model.
Leif Blaese

Workflow for Rapid Metagenome Analysis

Analyses of metagenomes in life sciences present new opportunities as well as challenges to the scientific community and call for advanced computational methods and workflows. The large amount of data collected from samples via next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies render manual approaches to sequence comparison and annotation unsuitable. Rather, fast and efficient computational pipelines are needed to provide comprehensive statistics and summaries and enable the researcher to choose appropriate tools for more specific analyses. The workflow presented here builds upon previous pipelines designed for automated clustering and annotation of raw sequence reads obtained from next-generation sequencing technologies such as 454 and Illumina. Employing specialized algorithms, the sequence reads are processed at three different levels. First, raw reads are clustered at high similarity cutoff to yield clusters which can be exported as multifasta files for further analyses. Independently, open reading frames (ORFs) are predicted from raw reads and clustered at two strictness levels to yield sets of non-redundant sequences and ORF families. Furthermore, single ORFs are annotated by performing searches against the Pfam database.
Gunnar Schulze

Constructing a Phylogenetic Tree

In this project I constructed a workflow that takes a DNA sequence as input and provides a phylogenetic tree, consisting of the input sequence and other sequences which were found during a database search. In this phylogenetic tree the sequences are arranged depending on similarities. In bioinformatics, constructing phylogenetic trees is often used to explore the evolutionary relationships of genes or organisms and to understand the mechanisms of evolution itself.
Monika Lis

Exploratory Data Analysis

In bioinformatics the term exploratory data analysis refers to different methods to get an overview of large biological data sets. Hence, it helps to create a framework for further analysis and hypothesis testing. The workflow facilitates this first important step of the data analysis created by high-throughput technologies. The results are different plots showing the structure of the measurements. The goal of the workflow is the automatization of the exploratory data analysis, but also the flexibility should be guaranteed. The basic tool is the free software R.
Janine Vierheller

Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes

With the jABC it is possible to realize workflows for numerous questions in different fields. The goal of this project was to create a workflow for the identification of differentially expressed genes. This is of special interest in biology, for it gives the opportunity to get a better insight in cellular changes due to exogenous stress, diseases and so on. With the knowledge that can be derived from the differentially expressed genes in diseased tissues, it becomes possible to find new targets for treatment.
Christine Schütt

Geovisualization Applications

Visualization of Data Transfer Paths

A workflow for visualizing server connections using the Google Maps API was built in the jABC. It makes use of three basic services: An XML-based IP address geolocation web service, a command line tool and the Static Maps API. The result of the workflow is an URL leading to an image file of a map, showing server connections between a client and a target host.
Christian Kuntzsch

Spotlocator – Guess Where the Photo Was Taken!

Spotlocator is a game wherein people have to guess the spots of where photos were taken. The photos of a defined area for each game are from They are published at http://spotlocator. with an ID. Everyone can guess the photo spots by sending a special tweet via Twitter that contains the hashtag #spotlocator, the guessed coordinates and the ID of the photo. An evaluation is published for all tweets. The players are informed about the distance to the real photo spots and the positions are shown on a map.
Marcel Hibbe

Geocoder Accuracy Ranking

Finding an address on a map is sometimes tricky: the chosen map application may be unfamiliar with the enclosed region. There are several geocoders on the market, they have different databases and algorithms to compute the query. Consequently, the geocoding results differ in their quality. Fortunately the geocoders provide a rich set of metadata. The workflow described in this paper compares this metadata with the aim to find out which geocoder is offering the best-fitting coordinate for a given address.
Daniel Teske

Web-Based Map Generalization Tools Put to the Test: A jABC Workflow

Geometric generalization is a fundamental concept in the digital mapping process. An increasing amount of spatial data is provided on the web as well as a range of tools to process it. This jABC workflow is used for the automatic testing of web-based generalization services like by executing its functionality, overlaying both datasets before and after the transformation and displaying them visually in a .tif file. Mostly Web Services and command line tools are used to build an environment where ESRI shapefiles can be uploaded, processed through a chosen generalization service and finally visualized in Irfanview.
Henriette Sens

CREADED: Colored-Relief Application for Digital Elevation Data

In the geoinformatics field, remote sensing data is often used for analyzing the characteristics of the current investigation area. This includes DEMs, which are simple raster grids containing grey scales representing the respective elevation values. The project CREADED that is presented in this paper aims at making these monochrome raster images more significant and more intuitively interpretable. For this purpose, an executable interactive model for creating a colored and relief-shaded Digital Elevation Model (DEM) has been designed using the jABC framework. The process is based on standard jABC-SIBs and SIBs that provide specific GIS functions, which are available as Web services, command line tools and scripts.
Franziska Noack

A Workflow for Computing Potential Areas for Wind Turbines

This paper describes the implementation of a workflow model for service-oriented computing of potential areas for wind turbines in jABC. By implementing a re-executable model the manual effort of a multi-criteria site analysis can be reduced. The aim is to determine the shift of typical geoprocessing tools of geographic information systems (GIS) from the desktop to the web. The analysis is based on a vector data set and mainly uses web services of the “Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems” (CSISS). This paper discusses effort, benefits and problems associated with the use of the web services.
Tobias Respondek

Location Analysis for Placing Artificial Reefs

Location analyses are among the most common tasks while working with spatial data and geographic information systems. Automating the most frequently used procedures is therefore an important aspect of improving their usability. In this context, this project aims to design and implement a workflow, providing some basic tools for a location analysis. For the implementation with jABC, the workflow was applied to the problem of finding a suitable location for placing an artificial reef. For this analysis three parameters (bathymetry, slope and grain size of the ground material) were taken into account, processed, and visualized with the The Generic Mapping Tools (GMT), which were integrated into the workflow as jETI-SIBs. The implemented workflow thereby showed that the approach to combine jABC with GMT resulted in an user-centric yet user-friendly tool with high-quality cartographic outputs.
Lasse Scheele

Creation of Topographic Maps

The goal of this project was to create a topographic map of Germany without requiring any knowledge of a GIS program from the user. The resulting workflow autonomously generates a map of a colored digital terrain model with the main rivers, political boundaries, some cities, mountains and a legend key under the map. For the individual steps it mainly uses the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT). GMT is a collection of command line programs, which are run on an external server, so they don’t have to be installed at the user’s computer. Creating a map of other areas only requires minor changes of the workflow configuration.
Josephine Kind

GraffDok — A Graffiti Documentation Application

GraffDok is an application helping to maintain an overview over sprayed images somewhere in a city. At the time of writing it aims at vandalism rather than at beautiful photographic graffiti in an underpass. Looking at hundreds of tags and scribbles on monuments, house walls, etc. it would be interesting to not only record them in writing but even make them accessible electronically, including images.
GraffDok’s workflow is simple and only requires an EXIF-GPS-tagged photograph of a graffito. It automatically determines its location by using reverse geocoding with the given GPS-coordinates and the Gisgraphy WebService. While asking the user for some more meta data, GraffDok analyses the image in parallel with this and tries to detect fore- and background – before extracting the drawing lines and make them stand alone. The command line based tool ImageMagick is used here as well as for accessing EXIF data.
Any meta data is written to csv-files, which will stay easily accessible and can be integrated in TeX-files as well. The latter ones are converted to PDF at the end of the workflow, containing a table about all graffiti and a summary for each – including the generated characteristic graffiti pattern image.
Robin Holler


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