The Web interfacing repository manager: a framework for developing web-based experiment management systems
Jakobovits, Rex M. (Rex Matthew), 1968-
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Recent advances in tools for scientific data acquisition, visualization, and analysis have lead to growing information management problems for research laboratories. An exponential increase in the volume of data, combined with a proliferation of heterogeneous formats and autonomous systems, has driven the need for flexible and powerful Experiment Management Systems (EMS). This dissertation provides a detailed analysis of the informatics requirements of an EMS, and proposes a new type of middleware called an EMS-Building Environment (EMSBE), which enables the rapid development of web-based systems for managing laboratory data and workflow. A new data model and design methodology for modeling experiment data as hierarchical views is described, which provides a framework for the rapid development of drill-down navigation systems that adapt themselves to the context of the user. A layered software architecture for an object-relational EMSBE is then described. Based on that architecture, an application server has been implemented, called the Web-Interfacing Repository Manager (WIRM). As a demonstration of the effectiveness of the data model and methodology, WIRM is used to build a working EMS that manages the complex data and workflow of a neuroscience research project.