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Sustainability Training Workshop - Intro to the SSI


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Presentation by Steve Crouch, Software Architect at the Software Sustainability Institute.

Presented at the Digital Social Research: Sustainability Training Workshop at OeRC, Oxford on 12 December 2011.

Published in: Technology, Education
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Sustainability Training Workshop - Intro to the SSI

  1. 1. Introduction to the Software Sustainability Institute <ul><li>12 December 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Neil Chue Hong </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>sus·tain tr.v. sus·tained, sus·tain·ing, sus·tains; n. sus·taina·bili·ty; adj. sus·taina·ble 1. To keep in existence; maintain .
  2. 2. Software underpins research
  3. 3. Changing role of software <ul><li>Software now has a longer lifetime of effectiveness than hardware </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And people’s knowledge is even longer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The right software makes the hardware exploitable by more researchers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows computing to be treated as a commodity asset </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Demanding users of computational infrastructure are coming from arts + humanities / social science </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software frameworks must support all types of app </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A culture of reuse rather than reinvention is not widespread </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Originality is good but must be balanced by consolidation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do we support this? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Scientists and their software <ul><li>“ Sustainability is not an issue for researchers, we want others to take the software over subject to IP issues” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sustainability is a big issue, we are producing complex tools we want to continue to use but it’s not clear how they’ll be sustained” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quotes taken from ENGAGE interviews </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Software Sustainability Institute <ul><li>A national facility for building better software </li></ul><ul><li>Better software enables better research </li></ul><ul><li>Software reaches boundaries in its development cycle that prevent improvement, growth and adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Providing the expertise and services needed to negotiate to the next stage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software reviews and refactoring, collaborations to develop your project, guidance and best practice on software development, project management, community building, publicity and more… </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. SSI Mission and Vision <ul><li>“ A national facility for building better research software” </li></ul><ul><li>Our vision is to make software useful for future generations of researchers by improving usability, maintainability and quality. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing research productivity by enabling more people to use software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delivering added value by leveraging our expertise and connections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensuring researchers can continue to use their chosen software as a cornerstone of their research </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. SSI: Long Term Goals <ul><li>Provision of useful, effective services for research software community </li></ul><ul><li>Development and sharing of research community intelligence and interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of research software best practice </li></ul><ul><li>Mantra: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep the software in its respective community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work with the community, to increase ability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t introduce dependency on SSI as the developer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand and exploit networks and opportunities </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. SSI: Provision of Services <ul><li>Collaborative Projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve specific software and transfer knowledge and skills to community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sustainability Surgeries and Workshops </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve knowledge within programme areas and raise awareness in community </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. SSI: Promotion of Best Practice <ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Raise awareness, make it easier to relate to subject </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology Watch </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and track software trends and common issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Training Materials and Best Practice Guides </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve knowledge transfer to community. Increase visibility and interest from non-connected community </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. SSI: Community Intelligence <ul><li>Events and Roadshows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Raise awareness in community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SuperPALs and Agents networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand community requirements, overlaps, issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Partnership with other organisations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure related organisations work together to provide for research community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. through SeIUCCR, with DSR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>International engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure best practice is consistently applied given strong international nature of research communities </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The Agents Network <ul><li>A group of “software-savvy” researchers from all disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Agents connect their research discipline to the Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Provide conference intelligence and more </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  12. 12. Working with communities Collaborative Projects SuperPALs Agents Partners Community Intelligence Roadshows Case Studies Best Practice Workshops / Training Community Interventions Project Selection Research Communities Analysis of intelligence Publicise Information
  13. 13. Case Study: e-Humanities textual studies <ul><li>TextVRE team at CeRCH, Kings College London </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed an environment which is used to integrate various tools used in the e-Humanities textual studies lifecycle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Builds on the German TextGrid project, and many other existing tools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SSI’s work means the software is can be run “out of the box” – an important requirement for the researchers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed a VM image containging the TextVRE installation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve installation instructions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop tests to check each installed component </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve modularisation to allow others to contribute and maintain </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feeding back work to TextGrid </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  14. 14. Case Study: NeISS <ul><li>Evaluate impact of traffic control measures over next 5/10/15 years </li></ul><ul><li>Access baseline demographic data about the city </li></ul><ul><li>Execute simulation of traffic system and population </li></ul><ul><li>Visualise simulation outputs </li></ul><ul><li>Augment with new forms of data </li></ul><ul><li>Run dynamic models to assess future patterns (congestion, health, social inequality) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Case Study: NeISS
  16. 16. Case Study: NeISS
  17. 17. Case Study: Climate Policy Modelling <ul><li>CIAS team at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop linked climate and economic models for detailed analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their software was not ready to be used by other groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One researcher/developer at UEA, several users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>SSI’s work means the software is robust enough that it can be installed and used by others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enabled use of the software by the WWFN’s Climascope project and James Cook University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Documented software to allow extensions by contributors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Made it easier to maintain and backup </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Added job scheduling to improve modeling throughput </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New modelling framework enables new models i.e. new science </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  18. 18. Case Study: Scottish Brain Imaging Research Centre <ul><li>Brain Research Imaging Centre, Edinburgh </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop PrivacyGuard software, a DICOM image deidentification toolkit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Created software to support new multispectral colouring modulation and variance identification technique (“MCMxxxVI”) to identify white matter lesions that are indicative of declining cognitive ability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BRIC are not principally software developers, but do provide software to other researchers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SSI’s work means the software has been reviewed and refactored </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looked at exploitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usability review, Naming/trademark review </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Made it easier for BRIC staff to maintain and develop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Move to standard repositories, testing and documentation processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examination of licencing for MCMxxxVI </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extraction and refactoring to create standalone tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  19. 19. Collaborations Building new research collaborations 21-22 March 2012, Oxford Workshop
  20. 20. A National Facility for Research Software <ul><li>Become our next collaborators! </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: </li></ul><ul><li>SlideShare: </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube: </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone: +44 (0) 131 650 5030 </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot collaborators: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fusion Energy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Climate Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geospatial Linked Data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crystal Structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain Imaging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarly Journals </li></ul></ul>