[kepler-dev] Re: [seek-kr-sms] UI

Ferdinando Villa ferdinando.villa at uvm.edu
Thu Jun 10 09:57:55 PDT 2004

IMA is Integrating Modelling Architecture
(http://www.integratedmodelling.org, also see attached draft paper to be
published in JIIS soon). Apologies for not spelling it out. By the way -
what is TLA? :-)

Anyway - sounds like GME is close to what we're talking about. As I was
discussing earlier with Deana, what I've been after with the IMA system
is precisely that kind of conceptually driven modeling - create a
model/pipeline as an instance of a concept
according to a specified ontology (e.g. food web, nitrogen cycle,
shannon index), define all instances from EITHER data or models (by
querying a DB or providing them), and the system turns it into the
declarative specification of a workflow that can be later optimized and
turned into MOML, C, Perl, whatever suits you, or "interpreted" to
calculate the states. The workflow contains all loops, transformations,
unit conversion etc. In SEEK/Kepler terms that could mean having a
"semantic director" that creates the MOML for the actual workflow - you
could have a tabbed window in Kepler and access the workflow if
necessary, but you should be able to model at the conceptual level. 

I think that's what SEEK is ultimately after, except it's a notion we're
just starting to bounce off each other. Personally I feel that the
current "workflow with semantics and transformations" notion is half way
between what we're talking about and the notion of the
"engineering-like" workflow, which is probably easier to abandon for us
ecologists than for computer scientists. I also think that the major
impediment to an understanding that requires a paradigm switch is the
early idealization of a graphical user interface - you think of that
picture, and you can only conceptualize that kind of workflow, and that
limits you. Of course that's only my opinion and there's no reason why
SEEK can't work out with the current approach - I just feel that this is
an eventual end point, but may be wrong.

Sounds like GME is something we should look at. Any

Ciao ferdinando

On Thu, 2004-06-10 at 11:20, Edward A Lee wrote:
> Apologies for my ignorance, but what is "IMA"?
> On a quick glance (hindered by lack of comprehension of TLA's),
> these ideas strike me as related to some work we've been doing
> on meta-modeling together with Vanderbilt University...  The notion
> of meta-modeling is that one constructs models of families of models
> by specifying constraints on their static structure...  Vanderbilt
> has a tool called GME (generic modeling environment) where a user
> specifies a meta model for a domain-specific modeling technique,
> and then GME synthesizes a customized visual editor that enforces
> those constraints.
> Conceivably we could build something similar in Kepler, where
> instead of building workflows, one constructs a meta model of a family
> of workflows... ?
> Just some random neuron firing triggered by Ferdinando's thoughts...
> Edward
> At 06:44 PM 6/8/2004 -0400, Ferdinando Villa wrote:
> >Hi Deana,
> >
> >I've started thinking along these lines some time ago, on the grounds
> >that modeling the high-level logical structure (rather than the workflow
> >with all its inputs, outputs and loops) may be all our typical user is
> >willing to do. Obviously I'm biased by interacting with my own user
> >community, but they're probably representative of the wider SEEK user
> >community. So I fully agree with you here.
> >
> >However, I don't think that we can achieve such an high-level paradigm
> >simply by augmenting the actors specifications. For the IMA I've done a
> >pretty thorough analysis of the relationship between the logical
> >structure of a model/pipeline/concept and the workflow that calculates
> >the states of the final "concept" you're after; as a result of that, I'm
> >pretty convinced that they don't relate that simply. In Edinburgh (while
> >not listening to the MyGrid presentation) I wrote down a rough
> >explanation of what I think in this regard (and what I think that my
> >work can contribute to SEEK and Kepler), and circulated to a small group
> >for initial feedback. I attach the document, which needs some patience
> >on your part. If you can bear with some dense writing with an Italian
> >accent, I think you'll find similarities with what you propose, and I'd
> >love to hear what you think.
> >
> >Cheers,
> >ferdinando
> >
> >On Tue, 2004-06-08 at 17:04, Deana Pennington wrote:
> > > In thinking about the Kepler UI, it has occurred to me that it would
> > > really be nice if the ontologies that we construct to organize the
> > > actors into categories, could also be used in a high-level workflow
> > > design phase.  For example, in the niche modeling workflow, GARP, neural
> > > networks, GRASP and many other algorithms could be used for that one
> > > step in the workflow.  Those algorithms would all be organized under
> > > some high-level hierarchy ("StatisticalModels").  Another example is the
> > > Pre-sample step, where we are using the GARP pre-sample algorithm, but
> > > other sampling algorithms could be substituted.  There should be a
> > > high-level "Sampling" concept, under which different sampling algorithms
> > > would be organized.  During the design phase, the user could construct a
> > > workflow based on these high level concepts (Sampling and
> > > StatisticalModel), then bind an actor (already implemented or using
> > > Chad's new actor) in a particular view of that workflow.  So, a
> > > workflow would be designed at a high conceptual level, and have multiple
> > > views, binding different algorithms, and those different views would be
> > > logically linked through the high level workflow.  The immediate case is
> > > the GARP workflow we are designing will need another version for the
> > > neural network algorithm, and that version will be virtually an exact
> > > replicate except for that actor.  Seems like it would be better to have
> > > one workflow with different views...
> > >
> > > I hope the above is coherent...in reading it, I'm not sure that it is  :-)
> > >
> > > Deana
> > >
> >--
> ------------
> Edward A. Lee, Professor
> 518 Cory Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720
> phone: 510-642-0455, fax: 510-642-2739
> eal at eecs.Berkeley.EDU, http://ptolemy.eecs.berkeley.edu/~eal
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