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Developing Software to Support SCEC Research Collaborations and Data Dissemination: A Case Study of the Committee for the Utilization of Ground Motion Simulations (UGMS) Project

Edric Pauk, Tran T. Huynh, Kevin R. Milner, Scott Callaghan, David Gill, Christine A. Goulet, & C.B. Crouse

Published August 15, 2018, SCEC Contribution #8775, 2018 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #297 (PDF)

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Extremely large and complex datasets can be generated as a result of scientific research investigations. However, making these datasets easily accessible and usable for a wider community remains a challenging goal. The SCEC Committee for the Utilization of Ground Motion Simulations (UGMS) provides a useful case study on how such challenges can be overcome when researchers and software programmers collaborate to build tools that prioritize the end-user’s needs. The result can be the dissemination of curated datasets for use by a broader community who can benefit from access to such peer-reviewed data for varied purposes, rather than only the researchers working on the project.

In 2013, the SCEC UGMS Committee was tasked to develop long-period response spectral acceleration maps for inclusion in revisions of the Los Angeles City building codes. The maps would be based on ground motions computed using 3D numerical ground-motion simulations (SCEC CyberShake) and latest empirical ground-motion prediction equations (PEER NGA). The Committee identified the need for a web-based data access tool to allow engineers to obtain site-specific data without the need to engage with esoteric software or to interact directly with extremely large datasets. The Committee worked with end-users and research programmers (1) to establish a methodology for developing response spectral acceleration maps that integrates numerical and empirical methods, (2) to determine target sites and datasets, (3) to perform post-processing calculations and analyses, and (4) to define what data would be outputted and how it should be displayed. Clearly defined data formats and input/output parameters ensured data delivered through the software was valuable to the engineers using the datasets. The data access tool was released in 2018 and is available through https://www.scec.org/research/ugms. This site documents the UGMS Committee process and the data access tool, and provides information on the project team, meetings, and publications.

The lessons learned from developing the SCEC UGMS data access tool can be applied to support research data dissemination for other SCEC projects. The close collaboration between scientists, research programmers, and end-users are critical to the software project success. When large datasets are well curated, and the use cases clearly defined, software can be better developed to support a broader community access to research data and information.

Key Words
CyberShake, numerical ground-motion simulations, ground-motion maps, UGMS, software, data

Pauk, E., Huynh, T. T., Milner, K. R., Callaghan, S., Gill, D., Goulet, C. A., & Crouse, C. (2018, 08). Developing Software to Support SCEC Research Collaborations and Data Dissemination: A Case Study of the Committee for the Utilization of Ground Motion Simulations (UGMS) Project. Poster Presentation at 2018 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Community Modeling Environment (CME)