The Design of a Software Environment for Organizing, Sharing, and Archiving Materials Data
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A versatile system for organizing, sharing, and archiving materials data is presented. The system structure is based on a division between the primary, numeric data and their metadata; metadata are further broken into material structure information and data source information. The system was implemented in software, with the data repository and metadata database reflecting the core structure. Versatility of the system arises from its configurability and extensibility. A standard configuration is discussed, and a detailed example is used to illustrate the application of the system. The software is freely available by contacting the corresponding authors.
KeywordsPrimary Data Orientation Distribution Function Integrate Computational Material Engineering Virtual Sample Repository Server
Open Source Packages
This is the primary development language used in the MDE.
This python package provides access to the wxWidgets library.
This is a cross-platform GUI library.
This is a python module, written by D’Arcy J.M. Cain, that interfaces to a PostgreSQL database.
This is the relational database system used in the MDE. Other systems, such as MySQL, could be used instead, but would require incorporation of the appropriate python interface package into the MDE code.
This is a python binding, written by Randall Hopper, for the DXLink library, and this is used in the MDE to control the openDx visualization plug-in.
This is a powerful software package for the visualization of scientific data.
Secure shell (SSH) commands are executed at the system level for data transfers.
a predefined operation initiated by the MDE GUI for operating on selected data groups. p. 5
application programming interface. p. 6
an informational variable associated with a data set or collection of data sets; the attribute may or may not have a value associated with it. p. 4
a set of specifications for the structure of data files. p. 3
a collection of related data sets. p. 4
the part of the MDE system involved with storing data files and their structural information. p. 2
a single array of data; typically, this is a 2-D array of data values in rows and columns listed in a data file, but it can also be an abstract array, such as a regular array defined by a repeating pattern. p. 4
the origin of the data sets under consideration; commonly, this would be an experiment or a simulation, but the actual definition and details are specific to a project and are configurable in the MDE system. p. 2
database tables that identify and describe data sources. p. 2
a saved database query. p. 5
electron backscatter diffraction. p. 6
a specification used by the MDE GUI for presentation of data entry forms. p. 5
graphical user interface. p. 16
hierarchical data format—a flexible and general data format and library developed for supercomputing applications at the University of Illinois. p. 2
integrated computational materials engineering. p. 2
database tables that identify and describe materials. p. 2
material data environment. p. 2
the software application that provides the user interface to the MDE system. p. 4
information associated with data files, describing the processes that produced them and any materials related to them. p. 2
database for storing metadata information. p. 2
National Center for Supercomputing Applications. p. 2
National Research Council. p. 2
National Science Digital Library. p. 2
an external piece of software that interfaces with and extends the capabilities of the MDE. p. 4
actual numeric data files. p. 2
the database that describes the structure of the actual numerical data sets. p. 2
the software that manages the data repository; it is automatically invoked on the computer hosting the data repository whenever data transfers are requested. p. 4
a technical database term that refers to the the organization of a database; it defines the tables, the fields, and the relationships within a database. p. 3
the input file with information describing the metadata schema and how it should be presented to the user; this file is read by the MDE GUI when it is started. p. 4
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