Building Scientific Workflow with Taverna and BPEL: A Comparative Study in caGrid

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Abstract

With the emergence of “service oriented science,” the need arises to orchestrate various services to facilitate scientific investigation – that is, to create “science workflows.” In this paper we summarize our findings in providing a workflow solution for the caGrid service-based grid infrastructure. We choose BPEL and Taverna as candidate solutions, and compare their usability in the full lifecycle of a scientific workflow, including service discovery, service composition, workflow execution, and workflow result analysis. We determine that BPEL offers a comprehensive set of primitives for modeling processes of all flavors, while Taverna provides a more compact set of primitives and a functional programming model that eases data flow modeling. We hope that our analysis not only helps researchers choose a tool that meets their needs, but also provides some insight on how a workflow language and tool can fulfill the requirement of scientists.