Applying AN Object-Oriented Database Model to a Scientific Database Problem: Managing Experimental Data at Cebaf.
Current scientific experiments are often characterized by massive amounts of very complex data and the need for complex data analysis software. Object-oriented database (OODB) systems have the potential of improving the description of the structure and semantics of this data and of integrating the analysis software with the data. This dissertation results from research to enhance OODB functionality and methodology to support scientific databases (SDBs) and, more specifically, to support a nuclear physics experiments database for the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF). This research to date has identified a number of problems related to the practical application of OODB technology to the conceptual design of the CEBAF experiments database and other SDBs: the lack of a generally accepted OODB design methodology, the lack of a standard OODB model, the lack of a clear conceptual level in existing OODB models, and the limited support in existing OODB systems for many common object relationships inherent in SDBs. To address these problems, the dissertation describes an Object-Relationship Diagram (ORD) and an Object-oriented Database Definition Language (ODDL) that provide tools that allow SDB design and development to proceed systematically and independently of existing OODB systems. These tools define multi-level, conceptual data models for SDB design, which incorporate a simple notation for describing common types of relationships that occur in SDBs. ODDL allows these relationships and other desirable SDB capabilities to be supported by an extended OODB system. A conceptual model of the CEBAF experiments database is presented in terms of ORDs and the ODDL to demonstrate their functionality and use and provide a foundation for future development of experimental nuclear physics software using an OODB approach.
- Pub Date:
- Computer Science; Physics: Nuclear