Science Information Systems Interoperability Conference (SISIC) Call for Papers

Volume 11, Number 2, June 1995
By James Thieman


Science Information Systems Interoperability Conference
University of Maryland Conference Center
College Park, Maryland
November 7-9, 1995
Sponsor: NASA Office of Space Sciences

Abstract Deadline: July 14, 1995


Scientific Data Management and Analysis in a Distributed Network Environment


General Description


There are six sessions covering the following topics (presently scheduled date and time are indicated) plus an on-going demonstration session.

Directories Workshop Session
November 7: Late morning
Chair: Terry Fisher/CCRS (

An initial search for data sets often begins with a broad-based query at the directory level. The intent of data set descriptions provided at this level is to aid the researcher in determining the value of individual data sets to the envisioned research effort. Although there is general agreement in the community that researchers should be able to perform searches of multiple data bases with one query, there are several different models being implemented to perform such searches. In that the data model chosen has a significant impact on population efforts associated with data directories, it is instructive for those building, populating, and using data systems to be aware of the various approaches being considered to accomplish the single query objective.

Presently, directory level information is rarely coupled with more detailed metadata and actual data. Fostering closer ties between the metadata and data will assist in more rapid and comprehensive population efforts. Furthermore, the rapid increase in the distribution (and description) of data sets on the Web points to a need for automated population efforts, regardless of the directory model chosen. In light of this, the conference will begin with a directory session designed to stimulate discussion in the areas of on-line data directory models or software tools designed to locate data sets described on the Web. Submissions addressing either topic are solicited for this session.

Distributed Data Management Tools
November 7: Afternoon
Chair: Todd King/UCLA (

This session will explore the following questions: What data management tools have been or will be developed for facilitating access to and the use of distributed data archives? Are there effective methods, techniques, or existing tools for accessing multiple heterogeneous data bases simultaneously? How will object-oriented data base developments or other approaches be useful in science information systems (SIS)? What standards might be useful in an SIS? Are there data formats that make building an SIS and using the information within an SIS easier? Are there methods or techniques for comparing data in heterogeneous formats and systems?

Topics of interest include storage and interchange formats that provide benefits in terms of efficiency, common approaches for disparate data, and portability; data management approaches that support large volume, distributed and heterogenous data sources, portable data systems, and object-oriented technologies; and data warehousing techniques for the tracking of data products that may be stored on-line, near-line, or off-line at any time.

World Wide Web and Other Useful Distributed Network Applications
November 8: Morning
Chair: Mark Rorvig/AIS (

Users tend to forget that disorganization was the state of most information prior to the development of classification systems at the beginning of this century. This session is about current work to organize WWW resources by manual, semi-automated, and fully automated means. Just because the WWW has grown with such dramatic swiftness does not mean that it will be forever disorganized. The new Tower of Babel can become the Alexandrine Library.

Effective Network Usage in a Limited Baud Rate Environment
November 8: Afternoon
Chairs: Hikmet Senay ( and Michael Keeler/ECOlogic Corp. (

Will a user have to have megabit/second capabilities to use effectively future applications? Will the ever-increasing transfer volumes ultimately kill the networks? How can those who are limited to 14400, 9600, 4800, or even lower effective baud rates maximize their abilities to use the network? What should developers be doing to alleviate these problems?

Distributed Data Resources Policy Issues
November 9: Morning
Chair: George Milkowski/URI (

What is the scientific communities' policy on sharing, accessing, and attribution? How is this policy established and how is it enforced? What are the implementation ramifications? What should be the "Rules of the Road?" Can generic policies be established or should policies depend on individual communities?

"Netscience" Approaches and Needs
November 9: Afternoon
Chair: David Fulker/UCAR (

How can the increasing prevalence of "Netscience," research collaborations by widely-distributed scientists with scattered data, be better supported? What tools are available and what is missing? What kinds of graphics and visualization approaches help distributed data management and analysis? Are there limits to how much these should be used?

Interoperability Demonstration Session
All three days
Coordinator: NASA Science Internet (;

The NASA Science Internet (NSI) will be providing network connectivity to the Science Information Systems Interoperability Conference as part of the Interoperability Demonstration Session. In this session conference attendees will see demonstrations of the science information systems and what capabilities they offer. NSI will have workstation-based terminals dedicated to demonstrating on-line network tools utilizing WWW and Gopher and will be providing additional terminals for electronic mail access for conference attendees.

NSI will also be connecting conference exhibitor demonstrations in the demonstrations area, allowing exhibitors to access and display their home systems. Exhibitors will need to bring or rent computer equipment for such demonstrations.

Submission of Abstracts

An abstract of not more than 500 words should be sent to the chair of the session of interest as indicated above and a copy sent to Please include names, addresses, telephone numbers, and E-mail addresses for all authors. If the abstract cannot be sent electronically, it may be mailed or FAXed to

James Thieman
NASA/GSFC, Code 633.2
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771 U.S.A.
FAX: (301) 286-1771
Please send the abstract in time to arrive by the July 14th deadline.

SISIC Organizing Committee

Michael Botts			University of Alabama/Huntsville
Joseph Bredekamp (Chair)	NASA Headquarters
Peter Cornillon			University of Rhode Island 
Nahum Gershon			MITRE 
Charles Goodrich		University of Maryland 
Allen Hittelman			NOAA/NGDC 
Stephen Murray			Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Lola Olsen			NASA/GSFC 
Deborah Puku			NASA/ARC 
Edward Szuszczewicz		SAIC 
James Thieman			NASA/GSFC 
Raymond Walker			UCLA

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Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 21 Nov 1996 [EDG]