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STAR Intelligent Agents and Web Services Alasdair Allan Tim Naylor University of Exeter Iain Steele Dave Carter Jason Etherton Chris Mottram Liverpool.

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Presentation on theme: "STAR Intelligent Agents and Web Services Alasdair Allan Tim Naylor University of Exeter Iain Steele Dave Carter Jason Etherton Chris Mottram Liverpool."— Presentation transcript:

1 STAR Intelligent Agents and Web Services Alasdair Allan Tim Naylor University of Exeter Iain Steele Dave Carter Jason Etherton Chris Mottram Liverpool John Moores University Themis Bowcock University of Liverpool

2 Imagine a system which... Has unified access to archived data & catalogues, and to bibliographic data, and to telescopes, and has intelligent software agents to handle the results. IVOA Interoperability Meeting May STAR

3 The eSTAR Project Initally funded by the Department of Trade and Industry as an e-Science Demonstrator Project. Prototype robotic telescope network was developed to test the computing infrastructure which could be used for larger scale projects. This worked! Now working on those projects: Resource brokering for observational facilities Middleware implications of Intelligent Agents (IAs) Deployment on research class telescopes IVOA Interoperability Meeting May STAR

4 Unique Ideas Two fundamental ideas behind the project which makes it unique. Treat telescopes and databases in a similar manner, both being made available on the Observational Grid. The main user of the Grid should not be humans, but Intelligent Agents making observation requests. IVOA Interoperability Meeting May STAR

5 The Observational Grid Multi-agent system using the contract model. No overall supervisor, which gives scalability. IA's submit requests to nodes on the network, not commands. IA's also do datamining from databases such as SIMBAD and ADS, catalogues such as the USNO-A2, and surveys such as the DSS. Databases are only special cases of telescopes, that can return data instantly, no other difference. IVOA Interoperability Meeting May STAR

6 The Grid Overall Architecture STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May Telescope + Pipeline Bibliographic Database Object Database Intelligent Agents Surveys + Catalogues

7 The Intelligent Agent (IA) Can view the system as a unified information grid, within which intelligent agents live. IA's are developed by astronomers to address their own science drivers, the agents can request and interpret data. Scalable, multiple agents can talk to multiple nodes. eSTAR is the only group applying the emerging agent technologies to astrophysics. STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May

8 eSTAR Prototype IVOA Interoperability Meeting May STAR

9 eSTAR Next Generation In collaboration with Tim Jenness, Frossie Economou and Nial Tanvir we intend to deploy the eSTAR system onto UKIRT and the JCMT within the next couple of months to perform automated - Ray Burst followup Reacts to - Ray alert from IBAS via TCP socket Carries out JHK photometry ORAC-DR reduces data, returns data products Agent analyses products, cross-correlates with with existing online catalogue and identifies burster Carries out followup spectroscopy Carries out JHK photometry Agent cross correlates with previous photometry and orders further followup spectroscopy if needed STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May

10 Other Telescopes... The eSTAR system will also be deployed onto the Liverpool Telescope and the two Faulkes Telescopes over the next two years. In addition, discussions are ongoing with members of the Citadel ASTRA Project about deploying onto the ASTRA Spectrophotometric Telescope. Preliminary discussions with ESO indicate that interfacing the system with P2PP shouldn't pose significant problems. STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May

11 IA Architecture STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May Multi-agent Collaborative Model

12 eSTAR Next Generation IVOA Interoperability Meeting May STAR

13 What has this to do with Web Services? Intelligent Agents are both providers and consumers of web and grid services. Consumers e.g. name resolution, catalogues and databases, biblographic services, surveys Importance of meta-data can not be over stressed. Providers e.g. access to telescopes, agents as processes STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May

14 Agents as Providers of Services We provide a standardised infrastructure to allow access telescopes over web services using SOAP and RTML. RTML is Robotic Telescope Markup Language and is an XML dialect meant to enable the transparent use of remote telescopes. Originally developed by Rick Hessman for the Berkeley's Hands-On Universe Project. Other groups, such as eSTAR, have made additions and contributed to the development of the standard. See for information about RTML. STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May

15 But Agents can also provide... Agents can also provide services, independent of telescopes, as providers of processes resulting in science data products. Agents are about decision making... These products would normally be part of the agent decision making process, but can be viewed as end results in themselves, and served via web and grid services by the agent to external queries. e.g. The Burster Agent provides a filtered and annotated list of - Ray bursts, and URI's of associated resources, such as SPI ACS lightcurves. STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May

16 What Sort of Science Products? Other science products that can be produced by eSTAR's agents include, Colour-magnitude diagrams Lightcurves, trailed spectrograms Periodograms (e.g. FT, or 2 periodogram) Can be provided transparently to the user as the agent has knowledge of both resources available on the Grid and processes to create these products. STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May

17 Middleware Implications of Agents PPARC funded e-Science Studentship Investigating the implications of agent technology to the Virtual Observatory (VO). Intelligent Agents for data mining and generic data grids tasks. Mobile agents and their implications for database queries. Agents as the applications layer for Grids? STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May

18 Where now? Next six months: Deploy eSTAR onto UKIRT and JCMT Support and improve existing small telescope network Apply for more money! Next couple of years: Deploy eSTAR onto the LT and Faulkes telescopes Deploy eSTAR onto ASTRA telescope (and others?) Apply agent technologies to data grids Develop observational brokering services STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May

19 Summary It is important that federated databases and telescopes share a common interface, there is no fundamental difference between them other than the time it takes to return the data and the date stamp. We believe that power users of the grid will use intelligent agents technology and not dumb applications. See our website for more details about the project. Some links to recent papers about eSTAR can be found on my IVOA Wiki Users Page. STAR IVOA Interoperability Meeting May


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