Talk at UNI lugano

A couple of weeks back, we gave a talk with Dom at the University of Lugano. Besides, being a lovely cosy university in a wonderful place, we had a great time discussing with Cesare Pautasso and his colleague Francesco Lelli, a physicist working at CERN and Uni. Lugano. We had an interesting discussion with Francesco, who is specialized in grid computing, and he told us how they have used REST at CERN. The main ideas are summarized in these papers:

  • [1] F. Lelli and C. Pautasso The Tiny Instrument Element Project In proc of 4th International Conference on Grid and Pervasive Computing (GPC) , Geneva, Switzerland, May 2009.
  • [2] F. Lelli and C. Pautasso, REST APIs for Controlling and Monitoring Devices, in proc of INGRID 09-instrumenting the Grid, 4th international workshop on distributed cooperative laboratories, Alghero, Italy, April 2009

Francesco has been the developer of Instrument Element (demo, documentation, blog). The Web Service interface that is exposed by the Instrument Element is now under standardization at the Open Grid Forum (OGF), and done by RISGE. However the discussions are still in preliminary phase and no standards have been produced so far. This paper summarize the work that has been done with the previous version of the software, and you can also have a look at a few use cases of where the code has been used. Their system has been used in only two industrial setups, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Experiment at CERN (see the two subprojects that use the systems), and the AGaTA Experiment (subgroup of this experiment that is using the software is here). Finally, see a few demos. The Instrument Element project is also monitored in Ohloh. A few modern hardware control systems that are in use in various experiments and complex control systems in general PVSS, TANGO, EPICS.

It was fun to see that they have actually been using REST at CERN, which is typically not the kind of places where we though REST could stand up against traditional Web services. Also, it was really great to discuss with Cesare, and excellent researcher working closely with REST and having a deep expertise of Web services and composition platforms. We’re totally looking forward seeing him more often, and hopefully collaborate more actively with him (and enjoy the sunny italian part of Switzerland in the meanwhile).

Oh, before I forget, here are the slides of our talk, for those interested (if any).
Building a Scalable and Open World Wide Web of Things

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