DEEP represents a data handling environment which has been developed in parallel with emerging technologies, taking full advantage of new robust tools and methodologies many of which only became available during the project. The DEEP represents a major advance in data handling which is based on industry standard technologies. DEEP could be used as an industry standard data interchange format, since its rich Data Model may be used to provide an effective bridge between existing file formats. Tools which could perform conversions to and from various formats would have to be developed for this purpose.
The performance of an initial 'all-object' pre-prototype was worse than expected by several orders of magnitude and pointed to an underlying dichotomy in the data access requirements of the DEEP system. In the case of large collections of homogeneous data the object-oriented database and CORBA become unnecessary and perhaps crippling overheads, as they are designed for flexibility and complexity in relatively small quantities. For small numbers of heterogeneous, complex geological data, the 'all-object' approach is an excellent way to transverse the Data Model. The planned commercialisation will address these issues and provide more optimised data access pathways for the two sorts of data being manipulated.
The proposed research is directed at developing a robust software prototype of a new data handling environment for the extractive industry. The new system will provide a unified data model allowing for a continuum of data management from exploration through prospect evaluation to mining. The interface will be through a set of new interactive graphical tools allowing the different users to manipulate, interrogate and view the whole of the information in a form which is natural to their own field of requirements. The system will provide a more complete use of exploration data, particularly for qualitative data. The prototype will embrace new concepts of data handling and will provide methods for quantifying the reliability of data throughout the exploration cycle. The development of the prototype will use new evolving software engineering methods.
The principal research tasks are to:
- research, design and implement a DBMS addressing the industry specific data, functions and operation requirements not provided by current generation databases
- design and implement an open system architecture allowing for inter-operability between the new DBMS and heterogeneous software tools presently used by the industry
- design and implement the interactive analytical graphical tools
- integrate the new DBMS and applications and demonstrate the working prototype in a live industrial setting.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
W1N 7DD London