Taking its name from an analogy to the electricity power grid, The Grid is defined as the next generation computing infrastructure that will enable coordinated resource sharing and problem solving in dynamic multi-institutional Virtual Organizations (VO). The Grid as a distributed computing paradigm is characterized with its focus on Diversity and Dynamism of resources and their availability, On-Demand Access to resources, Highly Controlled sharing, Self-Sustaining systems, and Open and standard protocols of sharing. Members of the Information Management Group (IMG) have been at the forefront of Grid research and development by participation in national and international projects, through involvement in Grid Standards Bodies' Activities and through the development of production strength middleware services.
The activities within Grid's vision strongly depends on metadata, which is generally generated and used in an ad hoc fashion, much of it buried in the Grid middleware's code libraries and database schemas. This ad hoc expression and use of metadata causes chronic dependency on human intervention during the operation of Grid machinery, leading to systems which are brittle when faced with frequent syntactic changes in resource coordination and sharing protocols. The Semantic Grid is an extension of the Grid in which rich resource metadata is exposed and handled explicitly, and shared and managed via Grid protocols The Semantic Grid initiative aims to explicate and exploit knowledge in the Grid to increase the automation,interoperability and flexibility of Grid middleware and applications.
With the strength and know-how coming from its leading position in the development of Semantic Technologies, IMG is one of the leaders of the Semantic Grid research activity.
IMG investigates the utility of Grid and Semantic Grid technologies in research projects with a variety of application domains.
- The myGrid project allows biologists to discover and integrate highly heterogeneous resources (data and tools) into workflows, execute these workflows and manage the resulting data products. The myGrid middleware is now undergoing a strengthening process so as to be delivered as part of the UK's Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute OMII-UK.
- The OntoGrid project investigates enhancement of data intensive processes in Satellite Image Quality Analysis and partner discovery, negotiation and agreement processes in International Insurance Settlement. One of the results of this project is the Semantic Grid reference Semantic-OGSA.