by Jane Kernan and Heather J. Ruskin

Large public Microarray databases which store extensive data on different genes, are still in high demand. Integration of the different data types generated poses many problems, not least in terms of quality assessment, scope and interpretation. Old and new paradigms for management co-exist within the field, including Data Warehouses, Database Clusters, Federations and Cloud computing, which need to be sensitive to both historical provision and future directions. So, what is involved?

by Zsolt Kemény and Elisabeth Ilie-Zudor

In the past, fast and affordable shipping of small consignments was perceived by the logistics industry as a conflict of requirements. Recent decades, however, have shown that bundling and rebundling of shipments enables certain types of logistics networks to comply with both criteria at the same time. Usually, these networks follow a multi-level hub-and-spoke layout with a high-throughput central player and independent and agile local collection and delivery partners. Meanwhile, however, performance limits have surfaced, most of them owing to organisational heterogeneity and resulting degradation of process transparency. Since late 2010, the FP7 EU project ADVANCE has been tackling these challenges and providing a re-usable framework for modelling and solving problems inherent to hub-and-spoke networks.

by Michal Haindl, Jíří Filip and Radomír Vávra

Real surface material visual appearance is a highly complex physical phenomenon which intricately depends on incident and reflected spherical angles, time, light spectrum and other physical variables. The best current measurable representation of a material appearance requires tens of thousands of images using a sophisticated high precision automatic measuring device. This results in a huge amount of data which can easily reach tens of tera-bytes for a single measured material. Nevertheless, these data have insufficient spatial extent for any real virtual reality applications and have to be further enlarged using advanced modelling techniques. In order to apply such expensive and massive measurements to a car interior design, for instance, we would need at least 20 such demanding material measurements.

by Dominik Ślęzak, Krzysztof Stencel and Son Nguyen

Large volumes of scientific data require specific storage and indexing solutions to maximize the effectiveness of searches. Semantic indexing algorithms use domain knowledge to group and rank sets of objects of interest, such as publications, scientists, institutes, and scientific concepts. Their implementation is often based on massively parallel solutions employing NoSQL platforms, although different types of semantic processing operations should be scaled with respect to the growing volumes of scientific information using different database methodologies [1].

by Paolo Barsocchi and Maria Girardi

Regular surveys of the structure of World Heritage buildings are essential to ensure their conservation. The aging of building materials, long-term ground subsidence, and environmental vibrations are all possible causes of the deterioration of old constructions. The potentially disastrous effects of severe seismic events are an additional factor teaching us the importance of prevention. When the constraints of architectural conservation are very strict, prevention mainly means monitoring.

by Kris Jack, Maurizio Sambati, Fabrizio Silvestri, Salvatore Trani, Rossano Venturini

When starting a new research activity, it is essential to study related work. Traditional search engines and dedicated social networks are generally used to search for relevant literature. Current technologies rely on keyword based searches which, however, do not provide the support of a wider context. Cite-as-you-write aims to simplify and shorten this exploratory task: given a verbose description of the problem to be investigated, the system automatically recommends related papers/citations.

by Philip Healy, John Morrison, Ray Walshe

Single System Image (SSI) systems allow a collection of discrete machines to be presented to the user in the guise of a single virtual machine. Similarly, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) interfaces allow one or more physical machines to be presented to the user in the guise of a collection of discrete virtual machines. Creating an SSI instance from a pool of virtual resources provisioned from an IaaS provider affords the ability to leverage the “on-demand” nature of IaaS to quickly and easily adjust the size of the resource pool. With ElasticSSI we propose to automate this adjustment process through the application of elastic scaling. The automation of the scaling process will result in systems that are self-optimizing with respect to resource utilization; virtual resources are allocated and released based the value of system load metrics, which in turn are dependent on the resources allocated. The scaling process is transparent to the end user as the SSI system maintains the illusion of interacting with a single Linux OS instance.

Next issue: January 2019
Special theme:
Transparency in Algorithmic Decision Making
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