NSF funds middleware initiative
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Sep 25, 2001
The National Science Foundation has launched a $12 million initiative to
advance middleware the software that allows scientists to share applications,
instruments and data, and collaborate with one another using the Internet.
A group of research centers across the United States will work together
on the project under the NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI) announced Sept.
NMI will create and deploy advanced network services to make it easier
for researchers to access resources available through high-performance networks.
Being able to share scientific tools, such as telescopes or modeling
software, access supercomputing systems and databases, or run simulations
with colleagues worldwide are just part of what the program hopes to facilitate,
said Carl Kesselman, center director at the University of Southern California's
Information Sciences Institute (ISI), which is among the funding recipients.
"We believe that middleware and a comprehensive middleware infrastructure
will be the key to creating a network infrastructure that can be used by
the worldwide research community to share ideas, conduct research and make
new discoveries," Kesselman said in a release. "There is a world of resources
and information out there, and we intend to bring it to the scientific community
in a seamless manner so that they can focus specifically on their research."
Two groups will receive the awards:
* The Grids Research Integration Deployment and Support (GRIDS) Center
will include ISI, the University of Chicago, the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University
of California, San Diego, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
* The Internet2 team will include the Southeastern Universities Research
Association and Educause, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance
higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.
The GRIDS Center will have two main functions: developing and integrating
the NMI architecture, and packaging, testing and supporting software distributed
The Internet2 team will develop an NMI architecture that focuses on
directories, security and naming, and integrating those services into a
variety of applications, including desktop video. The team also will promote
widespread, consistent and rapid deployment of those technologies to the
higher education and research communities.
More information about NMI will be available soon at a newly created
Web site: www.nsf-middleware.org.