This paper describes the use of cyberinfrastructure to create interactive applications as part of the Useful to Usable (U2U) project. These applications transform historical climate data, knowledge, and models into decision support tools for end users such as crop farmers, uni- versity Extension educators, and other agricultural advisors. In creating a cyberinfrastruc- ture to support the U2U project, four major challenges have been addressed: designing and developing highly usable web applications with frequent feedback, establishing a software engineering environment to support iterative development, integrating and synthesizing historical and current datasets from a variety of sources (local vs. remote, different access methods, and formats), and supporting project collaboration needs of data and document sharing, project management, and public outreach. The overall goals of the cyberinfrastruc- ture and its architecture design are described. Methods for data retrieval and synthesis, as well as the various software components utilized are discussed. The development and inte- gration of tools into the collaborative HUBzero framework are highlighted, including the use of HUBzero’s core features to share ideas, algorithms, and results. A highly iterative development process that includes feedback from experts and end-users to feed require- ment definition, design and application updates are also examined.
Cite this work
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
- Biehl, L.L., Zhao, L., Song, C.X. and Panza, C.G. Cyberinfrastructure for the Collaborative Development of U2U Decision Support Tools. Journal of Climate Risk Management, November 2016.