CI Conceptual Architecture


Responding to an ORION Project Office request, the ORION Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Committee appointed a subcommittee, headed by Matthew Arrott of UC San Diego, to create a draft conceptual architecture and budget framework for the cyberinfrastructure. The ORION Project Office and the CI Committee felt that this represented the best way to capture the design concepts needed for a forward-looking ocean observing system. The ORION Project Office will used the materials in community liaison, ORION budget analysis, and preparation of OOI Requests for Proposal.

That subcommittee, the CI Conceptual Architecture Design Team, discussed early versions with the community, and material from the ORION Design and Implementation Workshop was posted on the Marine Metadata Interoperability web site for public review.

CI Conceptual Architecture Design Team

The Conceptual Architecture Design Team was made up of the following individuals:

  • Matt Arrott, UC San Diego (Lead)
  • Alan Chave, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
  • John Graybeal, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • Ingolf Krueger, UC San Diego
  • Eric Guillemot, NEPTUNE Canada
  • Benoît Pirotte, NEPTUNE Canada

Conceptual Architecture Materials

In the spirit of an open and transparent process several working draft design products are being made publicly available.  As soon as the final documents are complete, the material seen here will be updated and augmented accordingly.

Concept of Operations

The Concept of Operations (version 5/11/06) narrates key science and operational scenarios which the proposed cyberinfrastructure must support.


The Design Team identified 9 documents as containing a significant number of requirements that could be applicable to the ORION Cyberinfrastructure. Some of these documents were from the design of component systems with attributes similar to those needed by ORION, while others were from environmental observatories that had defined computing architectures with at least some similar qualities. While there are other relevant documents, those chosen represented the most efficient sources of requirements, given the short time frame.

The Design Team extracted all the relevant specifications from those source documents, and organized them according to principle architectural goals. This material is included as the first requirements document listed below. Each requirement in this Original Source Requirements document is referenced to the requirement’s source.

Then the requirements were reformulated as ORION CI requirements, combining and rewording as appropriate. These requirements are contained in the second document below (the ORION Derived Requirements).

Note that there is a mapping from the source requirements to the final requirements, but no explicit mapping in the other direction.

  • Original Source Requirements (requirements as they were captured from source documents) (ver. 8/3/06)
  • ORION Derived Requirements (reorganized, combined, and reworded requirements) (ver. 8/3/06)

Conceptual Architecture Design Materials

Below are the first products of a suite of design products that provide multiple viewpoints on the ORION CI Architecture. The design products follow the format defined by the Department of Defense Architectural Framework, or DoDAF.

DoDAF separates the description of a distributed system into several major types of “views”: All Views, Operational Views, System Views and Technical Views.  Given the scope and duration of Conceptual Architecture design effort, the team concentrated on developing the All Views and Operational Views.

  • AV1: Overview and Summary Information, containing an explanation of the project and design products. (ver. 7/26/06)
  • AV2: Integrated Dictionary, containing definitions of special terms used in the design. (ver. 5/30/06)
  • OV1: High-Level Operational Concept Graphic (ver. 5/30/06)
  • OV2: Operational Node Connectivity Description (ver. 7/26/06)
  • OV4: Organizational Relationships Chart (ver. 8/3/06)
  • OV5: Operational Activity Model (ver. 5/30/06)

Reference Documentation

Suggested introductory readings on DoDAF, the architecture framework used for the Conceptual Architecture Design Materials:

DODAF is documented in 3 big documents:

  • Volume I provides general guidance on the need for and use of architecture descriptions in the DoD context.
  • Volume II provides detailed definitions of the 26 products contained in the 3 views.
  • The deskbook provides examples of compliant architectures, approaches to architecture development, and information on reference resources.

Presentation: D&I Workshop

The following presentation was used during the design process to elicit feedback and better understand the proposed interactions between the CI and the other systems which make up ORION.

  • CI Conceptual Architecture Overview, presented to an evening session at the D&I Workshop, March 28-30 2006.
    • Architecture Overview Q&A, notes from the audience interaction