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BAMS/DSS – What Good is it?? TUG Conference September 7-10, 2003 Jeff Hisem and (a lot of help from) Jennifer McAllister Ohio Department of Transportation.

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Presentation on theme: "BAMS/DSS – What Good is it?? TUG Conference September 7-10, 2003 Jeff Hisem and (a lot of help from) Jennifer McAllister Ohio Department of Transportation."— Presentation transcript:

1 BAMS/DSS – What Good is it?? TUG Conference September 7-10, 2003 Jeff Hisem and (a lot of help from) Jennifer McAllister Ohio Department of Transportation



4 Historiographically speaking, a study into the origin and evolution of the Internet should not pose much of a problem. The period of time in which it has taken place is relatively minuscule -- only 30-40 years at the time this essay was written. Moreover, our ability to archive and document events has, in the latter half of the twentieth century, become quite extensive. In spite of this, the origin and evolution of the Internet is not as clear as one would think. The common assumption is the Internet was the outcome of a military project from the cold war era, one that was supposed to be able to survive a nuclear war. This position made its first appearance in mainstream thought in early 1993 when Bruce Sterling made a note of it in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. 1 Accordingly, most are of the opinion that the Internet was securely tied to the Pentagon and the military's plan to develop a system to help wage a major war against the Soviet Union. It was only when this system was no longer needed by the military establishment of the US was it then given over to academic researchers, and from there hijacked by commercial interests. Some have challenged this assumption, however. Michael and Ronda Hauben, in their book "Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet", reject the notion that the Pentagon and the US Defense Department played such an active role in the development of the Internet. Although a report in 1962 by Paul Baran for Rand Corporation is often referred to as the starting point for the evolution of the Internet, in where the US Air Force was interested in ways to persevere their communications infrastructure in the event of an attack, the Haubens stress that research in this area was inspired by scientific aims not applied military research objectives. Thus, from the outset the development of computer networking had a scientific -- as opposed to military -- focus. Jay Hauben, an editor of the Computer Amateurist, takes a similar view. He argues that there were elements within the science policy and military communities which recognised, firstly, the central importance of basic and open research and the role of scientists in making science policy and, secondly, that science and technology hold the promise of future solutions to the problems both in peace and in war that stand in the way of a better life for most people. In tracing the origins of the Internet and the foundations upon which it was built (i.e., ARPA and the ARPANET), Hauben considers the period from 1945-58 as crucial. His understanding of that period is that the creation of ARPA (the Advanced Research Project Agency) in 1958 was as a counter to cold war dominance of funding which went to big weapons and to classified and secret research, and therefore not real science. "The mission of ARPA from its very inception was embodied in its name: support and guidence to the science community for doing forefront research which would be more advanced than other sectors in US society would undertake." Hauben The multi-purpose approach to research, which lay at the very heart of US scientific research at the end of the Second World War, is still not clearly understood nor recognised. Also, the reason why ARPA operated under the Department of Defense is not as obvious as it would seem. Hauben delves into the complexities of the issue: "Based on the crucial contribution of scientists under civilian leadership to the successful defeat of the Nazi war machine in WWII, there were strong advocates among military people of generous Federal support for autonomous basic scientific research. This was first achieved through an organization within the Department of Defense, the Office of Naval Research, which established a relationship of generous financial support for, and facilitation of, autonomous scientific research at US universities especially 1946-1950. The establishment of ARPA in early 1958 was a return to a policy of support for basic research independent of the branches but within the DOD." What also needs to be taken into consideration are the ulterior motives of leaders and policy makers of the period. The president of the time, Dwight Eisenhower, was skeptical about the growing power of the military-industrial complex, and had warned on several occasions about the dangers it posed. John von Neumann, celebrated in Hungary as the "founding father of computer technology", likewise was wary about conducting any sort of scientific research in conjunction with the military. Nevertheless, he ended up accepting the notion of having civilian scientists working within the US Department of Defense. A possible reason for this could be he believed, along with Eisenhower, that civilian influence within the Department of Defense might act as a restraining influence on the military. In their book "Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet", Michael and Ronda Hauben point out that the vision which inspired the development of the ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet, came from J.C.R. Licklider, not from any military plans or proposals. Licklider's idea of an "Intergalactic Network" where researchers shared their ideas and resources was the idea that inspired others like Larry Roberts to understand the importance for the future of creating a computer network. In their book (which has been online since 1994), the Haubens describe how Licklider encouraged researchers to see the need to define the problems and benefits that would result from computer networking. In this way a whole generation of researchers was inspired to take up the difficult challenges of creating a new kind of communications network, a packet switching computer communications network.2 In a recent article, "Computer Science and the Role of Government in Creating the Internet: ARPA/IPTO (1962-1986), Ronda Hauben also describes how the U.S. Congress held hearings in the 1950's to try to determine how to make it possible for scientists to work with the U.S. Department of Defense. Noted scientists like John von Neumann testified in these hearings in the US Congress about the need for support for basic research by the U.S. Department of Defense. Von Neumann advised that it was no easy task to create the interface between the military and scientists which would give the scientists the kind of environment they needed to be able to do such research. For example, in testimony before the Riehlman Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, in 1954, von Neumann cautioned: "There are all sorts of difficulties in marrying the civilian function of research and development with the military and those things deserve careful study."

5 The Origin of the Internet ”The Internet started in the late 1960s as a project of the U.S. Department of Defense: the military wanted a communication network that would function even if parts of it were broken…!... In October 1969, two computers talked to each across a telephone line: this network was named ARPAnet. As time passed, ARPAnet grew and connected many more computers between each other."


7 B.A.M.S. DSS

8 Historical Bid Data Program used by our Estimators for quick checks on prices Data dumped to CSV format Imported into Access Retrieves the data by Project –Displays low, high, avg bid & estimate

9 The “Estimator’s Helper”

10 Bid Data for the General Public Placed on the web Derived in the same way as the estimators Engineer’s estimate is removed

11 Web version

12 Specific Items

13 Miscellaneous Item Report For estimators and general public Shows costs for our “miscellaneous” items Useful because it includes the miscellaneous supplementary description Estimator can “search” using all or part of the description It finds all items that match

14 Miscellaneous Item Report

15 Work Type Verification Done a couple times/year Verifies that the project work types entered are indeed correct Produces a spreadsheet that shows %’s of each kind of work in each project Spreadsheet

16 Bridge Unit Cost Report Office of Structural Engineering creates a report annually We provide them with a spreadsheet with pertinent bridge data derived from DSS data Spreadsheet

17 Other DSS generated Reports Life-cycle cost analysis –Avg Asphalt price maps Line Item Profiles Geomedia Maps Summary of Contracts Awarded “Line Item Surveys” Cost Indices

18 Additional Ad Hoc Reports (from “historical price reports”) Amount spent on bridges since fiscal 1995 County pavement maintenance information for calendar year 2000 Sign lighting projects since Jan 2000 Cost per deck area for bridges with lengths between 20' - 40‘ Total length of 642,643, and 644 pavement markings for cal.2000 in miles District 1 bridge information from 1997 - cost per sq.ft. of deck Request on costs in Applachian Corridor for CY 2000 cost information for preventive maint. techniques - crack sealing, slurry seal, nova chip..

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