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The Power of Declarative Languages: A Comparative Exposition of Scientific Workflow Design Using BioFlow and Taverna

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2 Author(s)
Hasan Jamil ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Wayne State Univ., Detroit, MI, USA ; Aminul Islam

Scientific workflow design is usually complex and demands integration of numerous resources. Geographical distribution and semantic heterogeneity of resources add to this complexity. The cost effectiveness of such workflow design thus depends upon the lifespan of the application and its anticipated use. Shorter application lifespan usually entails prohibitive development costs. In this paper, we present an alternative platform for declarative workflow design using BioFlow in such environments. We argue that a declarative workflow design using BioFlow is more efficient and cost effective compared to traditional approaches using systems such as Taverna. To demonstrate the advantages of BioFlow, we compare a canonical micro array data analysis workflow application design approach using both Taverna and BioFlow. We show that BioFlow supports ad hoc and modular application design at a throw away cost, and produces a superior maintainable application that can adapt to changes in the source without significant effort. Finally, we discuss a visual application builder, called VizBuilder, with which end users are able to design workflows without any knowledge of BioFlow.

Published in:

2009 Congress on Services - I

Date of Conference:

6-10 July 2009