Patterns in Information Infrastructure

Mr Paul Box2, Mr Kheeran Dharmawardena1

1Cytrax Consulting, , Australia,

2CSIRO, Black Mountain, Australia


Information infrastructure used by research comprising systems, data, processes and people providing this infrastructure (provider community) has evolved to underpin specific communities (user communities) with specialised software and hardware requirements. Underpinning research user communities is challenging: software and data in cutting edge areas advances quickly meaning that software infrastructure can fast become irrelevant; research is naturally competitive, which makes collaboration a finely tuned balance; and building models for sustainability is challenging.

A pattern language is a method of describing good design practices or patterns of useful organization and through a set of interconnected patterns, attempt to express a deeper understanding of the relationship between different patterns.

A number of patterns (i.e. the things that we believe hold true across different contexts) that impact achievement of collective goals in information infrastructure have been observed. There are sure to be many more patterns.

This oral presentation will look at some of these patterns and the work that is being done towards developing an information infrastructure pattern library.


Paul Box leads a CSIRO research team developing interoperable systems of systems or ‘Information Infrastructure’. Paul has worked for more than 25 years in geospatial information technology field.

More recently, Paul has focused attention on addressing the social rather than technical challenges of building Information Infrastructure. Coherent integrated approaches to addressing the social, institutional and economic challenges of infrastructure development are being elaborated through ‘social architecture’.

Mr. Kheeran Dharmawardena, MBA, B.Comp., is the managing director of Cytrax consulting, a consulting firm specialising in information infrastructure for research.  Kheeran has over 2 decades of experience in delivery of many ICT services within the higher education and research sector, including infrastructure delivery, service delivery, data management, IT & enterprise architecture and eResearch.  He has a special interest in the socio-technical challenges involved in the delivery of effective services.


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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