Enabling integration between research domains through a research process graph
Dr Alex Whan1
1CSIRO, Canberra, Australia
In commissioning a new agricultural research station in Boorowa, Agriculture & Food has an aim of digitally capturing as many data streams as possible. These include environmental monitoring, on-site experimental activities and farm management processes. In addition to capturing these data streams, they need to be able to be integrated with external data sources such as remote sensing.
Because of the wide range of research domains that contribute relevant data to research on the station, we decided not to build a monolithic application, but to allow domain specific applications to communicate as independent services. To link the services, we developed a high performance application to store metadata according to the PROV-O model. The resulting provenance graph describes the entities, activities and agents involved in the research process, and provides stable identity and common description to enable integration across domains.
In an environment where research increasingly occurs across boundaries between research domains, this approach allows data platforms to be designed around particular use cases, without limiting future integration.
Alex Whan is a Team Leader in Agriculture and Food, with a particular interest in the interface between the computational and real world components of research. With a background in crop genomics, Alex is yet to find a research domain or datatype that isn’t appealing.