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1 Monolith2 – an On-line Database for Cement / Waste Products By Martin OSheaMartin OShea School of Computer Science and Information Systems Birkbeck,

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Presentation on theme: "1 Monolith2 – an On-line Database for Cement / Waste Products By Martin OSheaMartin OShea School of Computer Science and Information Systems Birkbeck,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Monolith2 – an On-line Database for Cement / Waste Products By Martin OSheaMartin OShea School of Computer Science and Information Systems Birkbeck, University of London Malet Street London, WC1E 7HX. IEMSS, Barcelona, Spain, July 09 2008.

2 2 The ProCeSS project Process Envelopes for Cement-based Stabilisation/Solidification is a project in the United Kingdom for the treatment of wastes from the chemical and metal industries that can not be prevented or reduced. ProCeSS aims: To develop process envelopes, i.e. cement binders resulting in an acceptable stabilised/solidified product, for generic S/S of the most common or problematic residual waste types, with respect to handling, leachability, durability and cost. To gain a better understanding of contaminant immobilisation mechanisms and long-term performance. This will improve choice between waste treatment options, guide use and marketing of S/S by industry, prevent technology failures, enable confident approval of S/S by regulators, and provide fundamental data for development of predictive models of long-term behaviour for risk assessment.

3 3 What is Monolith2? Part of ProCeSS is a statistically-based experimental programme conducted by laboratories at four universities: University College London, Imperial College London, University of Surrey and University of Cambridge. The results from the programme are being collected in the on-line Monolith2 database system. The aim of this is to gather a wide variety of highly technical information about waste treatment with cementitious binders from a number of sources in the United Kingdom. Birkbeck project staff have developed Monolith2 as an on-line system with adaptive interfaces for updating and searching the database, which will assist the engineers involved in identification of process envelopes.

4 4 Monolith2: architecture Monolith2 is a typical web-based application where: The client: Users make requests for pages to the server via a browser. The server: Retrieves relevant data from the database and returns it to the user in the form of a web page. Software: JSPs and servlets written using NetBeans form the core application with Apache Tomcat and MySQL as the web server and database.NetBeansApache Tomcat MySQL Some third-party products are also used.

5 5 Monolith2: data Monolith2 collates data consisting of almost 8000 cement/waste products and some 300 literature sources with. data from the ProCeSS project. Information regarding the handling, strength, durability and leaching products are defined in database tables. In turn, these tables define the cement/waste product composition. Other tables describe physical and leaching tests upon the products. This data will be publicly available later upon completion of the ProCeSS project in 2009.

6 6 Monolith2: access and interface The home page allows access to all system components. The data model is displayed to allow navigation of the databases tables, each of which is separately maintained. Keys to identify data are system-generated. Security allows a user to have access only to data they or their affiliation have entered. Access is currently restricted to a small UK user base but it is planned to grant access to anyone who wants to register.

7 7 Monolith2: querying data Monolith2s principle method of database querying consists of a series of pages which allow users to select from lists of tables, fields and physical properties. Sample outputs of dynamically generated pages showing unconfined compressive strength data are given below:

8 8 Monolith2: plotting data A recent addition to Monolith2 is the ability to graphically represent types and ranges of data entered. Users select the X, Y and Z axes corresponding to tables and columns in the database. Various image types are available as well as various other plot options. The sample plot shows unconfined compressive strengths at 28 days for a variety of metal sludges. GnuplotGnuplot is used for generating the plots.

9 9 Monolith2: other facilities Logging: All activity within Monolith2 is recorded in log files for later modelling of user activity using data mining techniques, e.g. Markov chains or forms of statistical analysis. Popular reporting tool Analog is also available to administrators.Analog Help: Extensive on-line help text also defines Monolith2s database, its tables and column types. Feedback: A simple feedback mechanism allows users to report comments or incidents to the administrators.

10 10 Monolith2: applications Monolith2 has several key applications: To catalogue the technical properties of cement-based products to make it easier for authorities to distinguish between wastes and non-wastes. Because of the above, that more waste materials will be used, conserving natural resources, minimising landfill and protecting the environment. That Monolith2s data will be invaluable in developing an understanding of S/S required to predict the longevity of waste materials and evaluate any attendant risks.

11 11 Monolith2: the future Potential future developments of Monolith2 relate to: Recording additional data from research and industry. Contaminant transport and materials. Use of data for development of models in knowledge based systems. Future system developments include: Improving query and plot facilities with keyword searches. Introducing data mining capabilities. Improving help and feedback facilities. Modelling user activity for personalisation.

12 12 Acknowledgements Project details: ProCeSS is co-funded in the UK by the Technology Strategy Board's Collaborative Research and Development programme, sponsored by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills ( from 2006 - Project partners: Representatives from 25 British organisations participate in the ProCeSS steering committee. The full list is given on

13 13 To conclude … Further information: The paper that this presentation is based upon can be downloaded from or I can be contacted on Monolith2: Are there any questions or comments?

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