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Many Physics experiments today generate large volumes of data. That data is then processed in a variety of ways in order to achieve the understanding of fundamental physical phenomena. The goal of the NSF-funded GriPhyN project (Grid Physics Network) is to enable scientists to seamlessly access data whether it is raw experimental data or a data product which is a result of further processing. GriPhyN provides a new degree of transparency in how data-handling and processing capabilities are integrated to deliver data products to end-users or applications, so that requests for such products are easily mapped into computation and/or data access at multiple locations. GriPhyN refers to the set of all data products available to the user as virtual data. Among the physics applications participating in the project is the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), which is being built to observe the gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. We describe our initial design and prototype of a virtual data Grid for LIGO.
Date of Conference: 2002