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Award Abstract #1232197

Second Workshop on Instrumentation Needs of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (INCISE2) Research

Division Of Computer and Network Systems
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Initial Amendment Date: April 24, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date: May 1, 2015
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Award Number: 1232197
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Rita V. Rodriguez
CNS Division Of Computer and Network Systems
CSE Direct For Computer & Info Scie & Enginr
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Start Date: May 1, 2012
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End Date: April 30, 2016 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $45,000.00
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Investigator(s): Jose Fortes fortes@ufl.edu (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Florida
GAINESVILLE, FL 32611-2002 (352)392-3516
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Program Reference Code(s):
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Program Element Code(s): 1714


Proposal #: CNS 12-32197 PI(s): Fortes, Jose A. Institution: University of Florida

Title: Second Workshop on Instrumentation Needs of Computer and Information Science and Engineering

(INCISE2) Research

Project Proposed:

This proposal, planning a second workshop to examine more deeply the nature, needs, importance, challenges, current changes, and funding mechanisms of instrumentation development, acquisition, utilization, and sharing, for purposes of ongoing and/or anticipated research in different CISE areas, brings together recognized CISE research leaders to conduct such an assessment and produce a report that can be shared with the CISE community, colleagues, academic administrators, government funding agencies, and industry. CISE research is increasingly concerned with extremely large and complex objects whose behavior cannot be entirely distilled from first principles or investigated using reduction models. Among other factors, scale is a consequence of Moore?s law and pervasive networking. Complexity arises from the embedding of computing into artifacts, interconnection of many components and/or multiple layers of functionality. Research needed to design and/or model such objects often requires special instruments to either peer into individual components at very small space/time granularity or to observe/emulate/simulate many objects at large enough scale and during long enough times.

The findings of the first INCISE workshop held in 2008 confirmed that research instrumentation - broadly construed to include hardware, software, datasets and services - is essential for the advancement of CISE disciplines. Since then we have witnessed the emergence and rapid maturation of cloud computing, global IT systems, community-oriented instruments, increasingly IT-rich (a.k.a. ?smarter?) systems and cyberinfrastructures for scientific research. These profound changes in both the nature of IT systems and how IT systems can be provisioned call for a follow-up meeting to revisit the scope and need of CISE instrumentation and to discuss strategies for enabling researchers to create and access the instruments needed by their projects on a sustainable basis. This proposal requests funds for organizing such a follow-up meeting ? INCISE 2 ? with diverse participants drawn from several areas of CISE research. INCISE 2 will take place on two days preceding the 2012 CRA Snowbird conference whose dates are July 22-24, 2012.

Intellectual merit: Among others, the workshop aims to address the following questions:

1. Is instrumentation-as-a-service, as provided by clouds or other means, appropriate for CISE research? When the answer is yes, the workshop will further investigate and characterize applicable cases and what can be done. When the answer is no, the workshop will investigate the limitations of instrumentation-as-a-service and suggest steps to address them.

2. As the needs and offerings of instrumentation start having a global or regional nature, how are such needs best met and how are existing global and regional cyberinfrastructures best used for instrumentation purposes? Can we improve the community awareness of the existence and uses of these cyberinfrastructures? What are the relationships between cyberinfrastructure and instrumentation?

3. What are the main challenges currently faced by CISE instrumentation? For example, when is reproducibility of experiments needed, possible and/or affordable? Are there standards emerging for CISE instrumentation? What needs to be done to ensure sustainability of instrumentation solutions for CISE communities?

Broader impact:

The workshop expects to provide a valuable assessment of the evolving instrumentation needs of CISE research and how they can be best provided. It will make recommendations to both the community and the funding agencies regarding the necessary funding mechanisms to meet the identified needs. The recommendations will be widely disseminated, including institutions with large enrolments of minority students and underrepresented groups. An expected impact of this activity is an increased ability on the part of the researchers of these institutions in competing for instrumentation funds and an understanding of the nature of CISE instrumentation by academic administrators and funding agencies. The participants will be diverse with respect to discipline, gender, ethnic group and geographical distribution in order to enable different representative perspectives to bear on the conclusions of the workshop. A verbal report will be made to CISE department chairs at the CRA workshop, and a written report will be made available to NSF and CISE departments in more than 200 universities.

IT is increasingly being embedded into artifacts which might include non-IT components whose natures include mechanical, electrical, communication, energy production, chemical, transportation, entertainment, medical, and defense. Thus, instrumentation touches society overall.

Over the last two decades the CISE research instrumentation needs, and mechanisms to address them, have changed as a reflection of the evolution of IT technology, both from the standpoint of the research challenges to be faced and the instruments enabled. The amazing progress of computer and information technologies (IT) has led to the current era of microprocessors with billions of transistors, software environments with millions of lines of code, multi-layered IT systems, and networks of thousands of computers, users, and applications. As a consequence, the objects computer scientists and engineers study often have an unprecedented scale and complexity. CISE instruments often grow by connecting many other artifacts (in some cases, on the fly) leading to complexity that cannot be mastered by any single designer or user of those objects. Thus, an urgent need exists for such assessment.


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