• Uniform Access to Signal Data in a Distributed Heterogeneous Computing Environment

      Jeffreys, Steven; BBN Systems and Technologies (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1992-10)
      One of the problems in analyzing data is getting the data to the analysis system. The data can be stored in a variety of ways, from simple disk and tape files to a sophisticated relational database system. The variety of storage techniques requires the data analysis system to be aware of the details of how the data may be accessed (e.g., file formats, SQL statements, BBN/Probe commands, etc.). The problem is much worse in a network of heterogeneous machines; besides the details of each storage method, the analysis system must handle the details of network access, and may have to translate data from one vendor format to another as it moves from machine to machine. This paper describes a simple and powerful software interface to telemetry data in a distributed heterogeneous networking environment, and how that interface is being used in a diagnostic expert system. In this case, the interface connects the expert system, running on a Sun UNIX machine, with the data on a VAX/VMS machine. The interface exists as a small subroutine library that can be linked into a variety of data analysis systems. The interface insulates the expert system from all details of data access, providing transparent access to data across the network. A further benefit of this approach is that the data source itself can be a sophisticated data analysis system that may perform some processing of the data, again transparently to the user of the interface. The interface subroutine library can be readily applied to a wide variety of data analysis applications.