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This paper describes a workflow-based problem solving environment (PSE) for supporting collaborative aerospace engineering process on the grid. The focus of our work is on the design of a workflow system that supports computational activities that are to be executed on the grid and manual activities that are to be performed by humans. According to our investigation on the aerospace engineering research process through interviews with aerospace researchers and engineers, it is essential to incorporate the grid-enabled execution of large-scale simulation runs and the support for manual activities into the workflow system. Most existing scientific workflow systems are aware of the importance of the support for the execution of applications on the grid, but not concerned with the support for manual activities. On the other hand, most existing business workflow systems are designed to have human intervention in mind, but not concerned with the grid-enabled execution. Based on the analysis of the e-AIRS system which is about a collaborative PSE for aerospace engineering, we have identified a collaborative research scenario and requirements. As a proof of concept system, we have prototyped a grid-enabled workflow system that realizes the scenario and meets the requirements.
Date of Conference: 7-12 Dec. 2008