Medici: A Scalable Multimedia Environment for Research.

Luigi Marini, Rob Kooper, Joe Futrelle, Joel Plutchak, Alan Craig, Terry McLaren, and Jim Myers

National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Microsoft Research eScience Workshop 2010
Berkeley, CA, October 11–13

Large-scale community collections of images, videos, and other media are a critical resource in many areas of research and education including the physical sciences, biology, medicine, humanities, arts, and social sciences. Researchers face coupled problems in managing large amounts of data, analysis and visualization over such collections, and managing descriptive metadata and provenance information.

NCSA is involved in a wide range of projects targeting collections that involve terabytes to petabytes of data, complex image processing pipelines, and rich provenance linking. Based on this experience, we have developed Medici—a general multimedia management environment based on Web 2.0 interfaces, semantic content management, and service/cloud-based workflow capabilities that can support a broad range of high-throughput research techniques and community data management. Medici provides scalable storage and media processing capabilities, simple desktop and web 2.0 user interfaces, social annotations, preprocessing and preview capabilities, dynamically extensible metadata, provenance support, and citable persistent data references.

This talk will provide an overview of Medici’s capabilities and use cases in the humanities and microscopy as well as describe core research and development challenges in creating usable systems incorporating rich semantic context derived from distributed automated and manual sources.