IVOA Executive Committee Meeting (TM22)

Thurs Mar 8 2007 @ 15.00-16.30 GMT




  1. Roll Call and Agenda
  2. Minutes of TM21
  3. Review of Actions
  4. Approval of new IVOA Recommendation(s) [Standing Item]
  5. Status of the IVOA assessment (FG/DDY)
  6. WG/IG/Standardisation process: RW to report on
    • Recommendation process
    • Nominations for vice chairs: DAL, others (DM?, Apps?)
    • Status report on Apps WG, SSA, SIA, VOQL, Characterisation
    • Preparation of the yearly TCG Coordinator report (due for May 2007 Interop)
  7. Preparation of the review of the WG/IG chairs (due for May 2007 Interop) (FG/DDY/RW)
  8. Status of the Assessment of Implementation of IVOA standards in Data Centres (DS/CA)
  9. Status of the preparation of the Beijing Interoperability meeting (CC)
  10. Status of the preparation of the Fall (2007) Interop meeting (NW)
  11. Date and Venue of the next Exec meeting (Beijing)
  12. AOB
  13. Summary of Actions

Reports from the Projects





During the last few months, China-VO has focused on 3 areas.

First, an initial internal test of VO-DAS was executed successfully before Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. Functions from all the core parts of the system were involved, including database access, ADQL parsing, task management, file-based registry, workflow, user interface. We are working tightly for the first public version which is planed to release before the Beijing meeting.

Second, several new functions were developed and will be added into SkyMouse. These functions include word capturing from screen for Linux OS, save queried results into various formats (txt, pdf, votable, etc.). Support of VO registry will be realized in the coming months.

Third, preparation work for the IVOA meeting is going on smoothly. The meeting will be held at Beijing Oriental Culture Hotel, a hotel with thick Chinese style. Website and on-line registration of the meeting were opened in February.

A piece of good news, following the 270,000 RMB (~ 34,000 USD) NSFC funding for SkyMouse R&D mentioned in last progress report, another small piece of NSFC funding was granted to China-VO team. The term of the new funding is 3 years with a total number of 240,000 RMB (~30,000 USD). The funding will be mainly used on research and development of VO-DAS.


VObs.it (aka DRACO) Italy


The EURO-VO FC roadmap has been finalized and approved by the EURO-VO exec early February.

In the framework of the EURO-VO Data Centre Alliance and Facility Centre, 2 major workshops are being organized in 2007.

The "Astronomy Spectroscopy and the VO workshop" will take place on 21-23 March 2007 at ESAC. The main goal of the workshop is to outline needs and challenges that astronomical spectroscopy will be facing in the coming years, and to identify how the unique capabilities intrinsic to the Virtual Observatory concept can meet them. Registration is now closed with more than 110 participants and the programme is being finalized. Full details can be found at : http://esavo.esac.esa.int/SpectroscopyAndVOWorkshopMarch2007/

The "EURO-VO workshop on How to publish data in the VO" will take place on 25-29 June 2007 at ESAC. The workshop is geared towards data centres and large projects to acquire the knowledge and experience necessary to allow them to become "publishers" in the VO. Registration will soon open and programme is in under preparation. Details can be found at : http://esavo.esac.esa.int/EuroVOWorkshopJune2007/

The EURO-VO mailing list is being built-up following a global announcement asking people to register through the EURO-VO helpdesk system at : http://help.euro-vo.org/esupport/index.php?_m=news&_a=view

Following the suggestion of the EURO-VO Science Advisory Committee at their last meeting, the EURO-VO supported research initiative has been launched by soliciting proposals from teams aiming at carrying out astronomical projects driven by the Virtual Observatory concept, and making use of the Virtual Observatory tools and applications. The successful groups will receive support from EURO-VO astronomers to complete their projects by December 2007. Details can be found at: http://www.euro-vo.org/pub/fc/call.html Deadline for submitting proposals is April 1, 2007.

In addition to the organization of the two Workshops mentioned above in cooperation with the Facility Centre, the Euro-VO Data Center Alliance has been actively assessing the new European Framework (FP7) to explore funding possibilities. The "Coordination with computational Grid" Work Package held its kick-off meeting (30 November-1 December 2006) and has been pursuing an inventory of Grid initiatives. The "Theory" Work package is co-sponsoring a SNAP-focussed meeting with the IVOA Theory IG (12-13 April 2007).

France VO

France-VO activities since TM21 (8 December 2006)

(1) The 2007 Annoucement of Opportunity was launched in December. The limited funding of the Action Specifique Observatoires Virtuels France (AS OV) will be used to fund French participation to the IVOA Interoperability meetings in Beijing and Cambridge (and to similar meetings for the other disciplines covered by the French VO, in particular the SPASE consortia meetings), for travel funds for collaboration between French teams, and to organize a general meeting (fall 2007) and topical meetings. It will also be used in complement of the EuroVO Data Centre Alliance project funding, to support French participation to EuroVO-DCA meetings (e.g., the Madrid Workshop "Astronomy Spectroscopy and the VO"). There will probably be no specific French VO tutorial for developers in 2007, because of the EuroVO Workshop on "How to publish data in the VO" (June 2007, ESAC).

(2) Meetings organised by the AS OV Working Groups:

  • Grid Working Group, Lyon, 9 January 2007, including presentations from G. Taffoni (EUROVO-DCA WP5), J. Montagnat (EGEE) and O. Richard (Grid 5000)

(3) Technical meeting:




Activities since December 2006.

(1) New hardware and software design for the JVO operations phase is being discussed. The new system is expected to be introduced in February 2008 as a part of a new computer system of the observatory. In parallel to the system design, future data delivery from the Subaru telescope facility, Nobeyama and ALMA is being discussed.

(2) Collaboration with the NAREGI project is ongoing. We are going to set up an Grid computing environment by using the NAREGI middleware, that will be connected from the JVO portal as one of data analysis servers.

(3) Enhancement of the JVO workflow system was done. It is now possible to use IF~ELSE clause, for loop, parfor loop (parellel for loop), and so on. The system demonstration was made in the end of January 2007, and many people visited our demonstration booth.

(4) Financial support by the JSPS will be made for the fiscal year 2007 (starting in April and ending in March), which will make JVO members participate to two IVOA interop meetings in Beijing, UK, OGF meeting(s), ADASS, and so on.

Korean VO


The NVO development project moved into sixth year thanks to supplemental funding from the NSF. The continuation funding allows us to maintain key technology and infrastructure efforts.

A major effort in this quarter has been the preparation of a book describing the core technologies and science capabilities of the Virtual Observatory. The content for the book is being drawn primarily, though not exclusively, from the NVO Summer School lectures and tutorials. The book is intended to function as a handbook for scientists interested in utilizing the VO in their research and for technically-oriented astronomers and programmers wanting to develop their own VO applications and services. The book will be published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific as part of their conference proceedings series.

Progress was made on the Simple Spectrum Access Protocol (SSAP) and associated spectral data model, and test interfaces and software were developed that validate the SSAP and spectral DM specifications. NVO staff collaborated with an IVOA-constituted tiger team that is charged with simplifying and finalizing the Astronomy Data Query Language (ADQL) and developing a standard Table Access Protocol (TAP). This work is intended to make it easier for catalog and database providers to publish their holdings, and to decouple standard database queries from the more complicated cross-matching functions that are part of the SkyNode specification.

The VOEvent protocol, whose development was spearheaded by the NVO, was endorsed as an IVOA Recommendation. Work is in progress to broaden the use of VOEvent in the gamma-ray burst research community.

End-user experiences with the NVO web site led us to rethink the primary data discovery portal. An NVO tiger team was formed to define the requirements for a new portal and to develop prototype interfaces. Our goal is to release a new, easy-to-use data discovery tool in conjunction with the May 2007 AAS meeting.

A full report on recent activities is available at http://www.us-vo.org/pubs/files/FY07Q1.pdf.




Reports from WGs & IGs(follows order as at http://www.ivoa.net/forum/)

Applications WG

The Applications group has recently changed from an Interest Group to a Working Group. The new Working Group charter is posted on the Applications wiki pages .

One of the first tasks of the Applications working group is to consider how an applications messaging standard may be developed in the IVOA. We are following a work plan which includes defining the scope of applications messaging, developing a mission plan and aim at preparing a working draft before the May interop meeting.

John Taylor (Royal Obs Edinburgh) and Mike Fitzpatrick (NOAO) are leading this effort. There has already been a very lively discussion that has brought forward many of the major issues. A short note to present the summary and possible scope of an IVOA standard is curretly being prepared.

The Messaging standard workplan represents the short term roadmap for the applications group. The longer term goals and roadmap will be discussed at the May interop meeting.

Data Access Layer WG

Data Models WG

All of Spectrum, Characterization and STC have complete IVOA Working Draft documents and are waiting on adequate implementations before proceeding to PR.

Spectrum has had a few minor changes to the FITS serialization over the past few months but has otherwise been stable. The SAO library implementation is nearly complete; the MAST FITS-based implementation is proceeding.

Arnold released an improved set of documentation for STC last week.

Mireille released a new version of the Characterization document last month but the coauthors are late in commenting.

I haven't had any updates from Pedro and Marie-Lise on the SLAP DM status.

My plan is to circulate a request for status on implementations very soon, and then hopefully begin the PR process for Spectrum, Char and STC on schedule for the May interop.

Grid and Web Services Working Group

Registry WG

Semantics/UCD WG

The PR document with the updated list of UCD-words has passed the RFC period with a few comments, all accepted. This document will replace IVOA Rec v1.11. I asked the Exec to promote Version 1.21 to the level of IVOA Recommendation.

In November 28 2006 the Chairman of the TCG asked all WG and IG Chairs to approve/comment the PR document. The deadline was December 4. As of today (2007 Feb 26) there is still one comment missing. There is obviously something wrong with the procedure (or with its implementation): setting a deadline and not implementing a "plan B" if the deadline is not fulfilled is equivalent to introduce a right of unmotivated veto to the result of the work of (part of) our community.

Work is in progress on the first Ontology of astronomical object types. After the issue of a TN in October 2006, a Working Draft has been proposed for discussion and contribution end of February 2007. Being a repository of astronomical knowledge, the Ontology is necessarily a collaborative effort of the whole scientific community collaborating within the IVOA. Note that the ontology is made of "defined" concepts, and only a fraction of them has been defined, for the moment only in terms of components and/or morphology and/or processes. I envisage on this topic a half-session in the spring IVOA InterOp meeting in Beijin.



The VOQL has given feedback of the VOQL-TEG activities to the community via the VOQL general mail list.

The feedback summary report is given here.

VOQL-TEG Feedback to community (06-Feb-2007)

The VOQL-TEG has celebrated three meetings so far:

VOQL-TEG Meeting #1 on Oct 10 2006
VOQL-TEG Meeting #2 on Nov 16 2006
VOQL-TEG Meeting #3 on Jan 29 2007

The minutes of the meetings can be found at:



A summary of the main decision to separate Language, Access and Specification can be found at the VOQL pages at:


As one of the first actions, a new refurbished ADQL document has been created to serve as a starting point for internal discussions. The document can be seen at:


that you can see at the bottom of page:


All the discussions that have taken place so far within the VOQL-TEG can be found at:


VOTable WG

The VOTable group is currenty in a quiet state. Minor modificataions of the VOTable schema are scheduled; a new version of the VOPlot tool (VO Multiplot) was just released and looks interesting.

Astro-RG IG

Interest growing. Significant work from a number of partners, e.g. AstroGrid, NVO, in assessing grid interoperability. Workshop at OGF20 - see GgfIvoaMay07WorkShop.

Data Curation and Preservation IG

SDSC has aggressively been developing technology used by the preservation community to ensure authenticity and integrity of records. SDSC has several projects in this area in collaboration with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, NARA, U.S. state archives, National Science Digital Library, California State archive, Library of Congress. The consensus across these projects is that data grid technology provides the required infrastructure independence, the ability to manage the properties of the preservation environment independently of the choice of storage infrastructure, while preserving authenticity and integrity. See papers:

Moore, R., “Building Preservation Environments with Data Grid Technology”, American Archivist, vol. 69, no. 1, pp. 139-158, July 2006.

Moore, R., M. Smith, “Automated Validation of Trusted Digital Repository Assessment Criteria”, Journal of Digital Information, January 2007.

Smith, M., R. Moore, “Digital Archive Policies and Trusted Digital Repositories”, proceedings of The 2nd International Digital Curation Conference: Digital Data Curation in Practice, November 2006, Glasgow, Scotland.

Moore, R., A. Rajasekar, M. Wan, W. Schroeder, R. Marciano, A. Jagatheesan, “On Building Trusted Digital Preservation Repositories,” 5th e-Science All Hands Meeting, Sept. 2006, Nottingham, UK.

Moore, R., M. Smith, “Assessment of RLG Trusted Digital Repository Requirements,” JCDL on "Digital Curation & Trusted Repositories: Seeking Success”, June 2006, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

One aspect of the approach is that we used the RLG/NARA assessment criteria to determine how to validate the trustworthiness of a preservation repository. We used the NARA Electronic Records Archive capabilities list to define the required preservation management policies. I presented this approach to the international community through meetings with:

Astrogrid, San Diego, Feb 15-16, 2007.

National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, San Diego, CA, January 17, 2006.

e-Science workshop on Running Production Data Grids, “Production Storage Resource Broker Data Grids,” December 4, 2006.

Caspar/Planets coordination meeting, Glasgow, UK, November 23, 2006.

Digital Curation Centre meeting, “Digital Archive Policies and Trusted Digital Repositories,” Glasgow, UK November 22, 2006.

Seminar at Tsinghua University, “Rule-Based Distributed Data Management,” Beijing, China, October 24, 2006.

Keynote presentation at International Conference on Grid and Cooperative Computing, “Building Shared Collections using Data Grids,” Changsha, China, October 22, 2006

UK e-Science conference, “Building Trusted Digital Preservation Repositories”, Nottingham, UK, Sept 17-21, 2006

NSF Seminar, “Rule-based Data Management Infrastructure, Washington DC, Sept 15, 2006.

Global Grid Forum 18, Preservation Environments working group, Washington DC, Sept 11-14, 2006.

The current approach towards preservation integrates the ability to define and execute management policies with infrastructure independence provided by data grids. Basically, the properties needed by the preservation environment are expressed as sets of persistent state information that can be queried. The management policies are expressed as sets of rules that control the execution of remote micro-services. The capabilities required by the preservation environment are composed from sets of micro-services. The environment allows each community to define their own micro-services, rules, and persistent state information. We believe that the micro-services needed to implement the NARA ERA capabilities list and the RLG/NARA assessment criteria will encompass most of the mechanisms needed for preservation for the IVOA. The first release of the software is available at http://irods.sdsc.edu

We are discussing the integration of the VOSpace protocol with the iRODS protocol with Dave Morris. The goal is a preservation environment that can use the proposed VOSpace access mechanism and multiple transport data movement protocols.

Theory IG

The theory interest group has worked further at low intensity on the SNAP and simulation data model. The intensity is meant to increase as we are organising a workshop in Garching in April to discuss these.

To this end we invited by email to the IVOA exec each of the IVOA members to suggest a participant to this meeting so that they can at least be informed about progress. Not a single reply was received, so we went ahead and invited people ourselves. Next exec we will report on the results. Note that the workshop wil be organised in liaison with the Euro-VO DCA.

-- NicholasWalton - 19 Feb 2007

Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r25 < r24 < r23 < r22 < r21 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions
Topic revision: r25 - 2007-03-09 - MasatoshiOhishi
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by Perl This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platformCopyright © 2008-2024 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback