CIF21 DIBBs: Building a Modular Cyber-Platform...

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The problems of documenting, preserving, and disseminating experimental, observational, and simulation data in engineering, technology and science require urgent solutions.  We document and preserve some of the information through theses and reports, and publish mostly conclusions through journals.  However, the actual data, the readings from sensors, the annotations made during tests, and rich digital records (photos, videos, audio files, coordinate measurements, etc.) do not usually get published and often get lost in media that become obsolete over time.  If the data do get published, they live for short periods of time on ephemeral and unstructured ftp or web sites that are not meant to be permanent and are not designed for systematic or intuitive data exploration.  This project aims at creating a modular cyber-platform (MCP) that allows reliable automated curation, archiving, preservation, dissemination, and “crowd vetting,” of systematically classified datasets in multiple science and engineering disciplines based on intuitive standards and a scalable structure.  We have ample experience in the matter and have produced partial solutions that have proven to be effective in addressing specific problems.  Our file repository PURR (, is effective in providing researchers tools to manage projects and space to share, preserve, and publish digital files.  The NEES Project Warehouse ( is a solution to the specific problem of management and dissemination of earthquake-engineering data.  It has a well-defined structure and provides users with powerful visualization tools (inDEED).  Our recent product DataStore ( promises to solve the problem of collecting data from similar experiments to compare results from a large number of tests conducted by different projects.  The proposed platform will combine the strengths of all these components and will be based on scalable general-purpose “building blocks” or modules that can be used to created flexible systems to organize, preserve, and disseminate data using a clear structure and providing the user an advanced and yet intuitive visualization and exploration tools.


The Purdue University Research Repository (PURR) is a university core research facility provided by the Purdue University Libraries, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, and Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP).