Fermilab Computing Division

CS Document 2282-v0

Extending the Control Room Logbook to the HEPBook –A Personal Collaboratory Notebook

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Selitha Raja
Updated by:
Selitha Raja
Document Created:
27 Jun 2007, 15:30
Contents Revised:
27 Jun 2007, 15:30
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27 Jun 2007, 15:30
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A High Energy Physics experiment has between 200 and 1000 collaborating physicists from nations spanning the entire globe. Each collaborator brings a unique combination of interests, and each has to search through the same huge heap of messages, research results, and other communication to find what is useful.
Too much scientific information is as useless as too little. It is time consuming, tedious, and difficult to sift and search for the pertinent bits. Often, the exact words to search for are unknown, or the information is badly organized, and the pertinent bits are not found. The search is abandoned, the time is lost, and valuable information is never communicated as it was intended.
Much of a collaboration's information is in the individual physicists paper logbooks. The physicists record important and pertinent information for their research. They save the log books to refer to it later, copy pages, and distribute them to their collaborators who share their interest and research.
Electronic Logbooks are now used in the control room of large detectors during the acquisition phase. They have proven useful for communicating the status of the detector and to keep the history of lab sessions in a format that can be queried and retrieved quickly. It has enabled remote monitoring of the detector and remote emergency help.
We have implemented an electronic Control Room Logbook, called CRL. It is used in the D0 experiment's detector control room for the Run II acquisition. As of mid December 2002 there are over 160,000 entries in the D0 logbook, all viewable and able to be annotated from the web. The CRL is based on state of the art technology such as XML and Java. It can store diverse type entries, such as text, images, and arbitrary binary files. You can insert the standard output of programs or images from files or URLs, specify a custom form to be filled in ( or pre fill with previous data), email entries, and annotate entries. It is also highly configurable and easily extensible via XML. It is platform independent and runs on Linux or Win32 without a single line of code change. The object design with the dynamic specification of entries types has allowed the CRL to be expanded with new entry data types without changing the core logbook.
Other experiments such as Minos, MiniBoone, and BTeV have also adapted the CRL. These experiments all have very different needs, so they all configured and customized the CRL in many different ways. The CRL technology has proved successful in the HEP control room environment. The CRL is the basis for a new project called the HEPBook which will move the logbook from the control room to the personal and collaboratory HEP notebook. In this paper we will review the CRL's technology and capabilities and discuss the new HEPBook architecture. Among the topics discussed will be the use of Java reflection to recursively produce an XML representation of an entry, the future extensions of the CRL to a HEP notebook (HEPBook) incorporating software agent technology, interface with the GRID, and the use of Web Services.
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Associated with Events:
CHEP2003 held on 24 Mar 2003 in La Jolla, California
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