I am currently a PhD candidate in Computer Science at the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science, Portland State University, in Portland Oregon. Since Fall 2009, I have been a graduate research assistant for Dr. Dave Maier, and work with the Center for Margin Observation and Prediction (CMOP), part of OHSU.
My research interests include applications of emerging technologies; integration of biological and physical data; scientific information management, data access and discovery; and spatio-temporal databases.
I am currently working on two projects:
My email at PSU is: vmegler at the web server address of cs dot pdx dot edu.
"Data Near Here" applies concepts from the field of Information Retrieval and Internet search to massive archives of scientific datasets.
Similar in concept to the way an Internet text search engine operates, I focus on providing a set of results ranked by similarity to a scientist's search; however, rather than text webpages, my users are searching for scientific (primarily numeric) data. I assume that after reviewing the search results, the scientist will wish to download, visualize or otherwise process selected datasets using other tools. Thus, the search engine is complementary to existing analysis and visualization technologies.
How it Works:
An archive of datasets is scanned one time, asynchronously. A brief summary is created for each dataset, and stored in a metadata catalog using a simple, consistent abstraction. The current prototype handles several different file types, and the scanning process can be easily extended to handle additional file types and formats.
A search engine searches over the metadata and returns ranked search results of the "closest matches" to the query, in real-time. Searches can include location, time, variable names of interest, or desired ranges for the data values. The results are displayed in a list (and, if geolocation information is available, on a map), along with brief summary information. The results can be downloaded for analysis or plotted in linked data analysis or visualization tools. A link leads to a page that shows the full metadata available for that dataset, thus providing the scientist with additional information upon which to make analysis decisions, if desired.
"Data Near Here" is described in the following papers:
A patent has been granted: "A Search Tool that Utilizes Numerical Scientific Metadata Matched Against User-Entered Parameters Edit", United States Patent US8560531 B2, filed July 1, 2011, issued October 15, 2013. Inventors: Veronika Megler, David Maier; Joint IBM/Portland State University.
Data Near Here was recently moved into production at CMOP, for use by registered users only. It will be opened to outside users in the future. The CMOP production implementation currently focuses primarily on CMOP's own data archive; data from other archives may be searchable via this implementation in the future.
A research prototype is available (well, it's available when it's working), at a publicly undisclosed webpage, in order to preserve my freedom of action (i.e., to break it again).
This is a new research project, intended to explore how one might architect and build an observatory that understands and adapts to the wide variety of data gathered or otherwise available in a single domain. The project uses our local city of Portland, Oregon, as a laboratory and example within which to explore these concepts.
In Memoriam: Dr. Vendelin R. Megler, 1921-2011