Kepler Core: Vision and Mission
The NSF Software Development for Cyberinfrastructure (SDCI) program recently funded a 3-year effort to enhance Kepler with features needed for broad adoption and long-term sustainability. The collaborative project is led by principal investigator Bertram Ludaescher (UCD), and co-PIs Matt Jones (UCSB), Ilkay Altintas (UCSD), Mark Schildhauer (UCSB), Shawn Bowers (UCD), and Timothy McPhillips (UCD). The project includes funding for a Kepler/CORE system architect and three additional software engineers fully dedicated to this effort.
The Kepler/CORE team believes that Kepler’s strengths relative to other workflow systems and its promise for catalyzing future research projects derive from its multidisciplinary, grass-roots origin. However, prior to the Kepler/CORE effort described here, no project had been funded specifically to coordinate development of Kepler with the goal of making it a well-engineered software product with the system functions and attributes required for broad adoption and long-term sustainability. Kepler/CORE fills this gap.
Kepler/CORE Vision Statement
We look forward to Kepler satisfying the scientific workflow needs of collaborative government-funded projects, academic research groups, and individuals in diverse scientific disciplines. We envision Kepler greatly enhancing the productivity of researchers who employ it, facilitating discovery and collaboration both within and across disciplines, and distinguishing itself as the best way for scientists to leverage developments and expertise in other domains. Moreover, we foresee Kepler's solid computer science underpinnings leading to further breakthroughs and innovations in the fields of scientific data management, data provenance, and collaborative scientific computing. Ultimately we expect to see Kepler maintained and shepherded by a self-sustaining effort that thrives well beyond the lifetimes of the grants that have been awarded to contribute to its development.
Kepler/CORE Mission Statement
In collaboration with current and future contributors to Kepler, the Kepler/CORE team takes responsibility for developing and maintaining the essential, interdisciplinary software components of Kepler; for coordinating the contributions of the greater Kepler collaboration to the core of the system; and for increasing the role of the current and future user community in specifying requirements and priorities. Our aim is to improve and enhance the Kepler scientific workflow system to yield a comprehensive, open, reliable, and extensible scientific workflow infrastructure suitable for serving a wide variety of scientific communities.
In pursuit of our aim we will coordinate the effort to (a) define a single, unified vision and architecture for the Kepler system with a clearly defined kernel of capabilities applicable to all projects; (b) develop critical new core features needed to make Kepler a comprehensive scientific workflow system including full support for data, workflow, service, and project management; (c) facilitate the application of Kepler to diverse scientific domains and deployment contexts by providing well-defined extension points; (d) ensure system stability by rigorous software testing; (e) adopt an engineering approach capable of delivering and supporting regular software releases; (f) train future system end-users, workflow engineers, and Kepler extension developers, as well as actively disseminate documentation and training materials to the broader scientific community; and finally (f) evaluate organizational, management and funding approaches for sustaining development and maintenance of the Kepler system beyond the funding period of the Kepler/CORE award.
Key to the Kepler/CORE development plans will be the active participation of the greater scientific community. Kepler/CORE team members will meet periodically with a council of current Kepler stakeholders, representing communities already committed to applying Kepler to specific research domains, as well as with potential future users in additional scientific domains, to gather requirements, ascertain relative priorities of needed features, and coordinate contributions by members of the greater Kepler collaboration.
Detailed background information and plans may be found in the Kepler/CORE proposal. For additional information or to join in this effort, please contact us at kepler-core at kepler-project dot org. The Kepler/CORE team welcomes comments on our plans and the full participation of the Kepler community in this effort.