VPHOP hypermodel technology: the programmable wrapper
SCS recently added a new component to the hypermodel technology of the VPHOP project which allows reserachers not only to expose its algorithms and model to the infrastructure but also to easily modify or update the code to be executed. This gives researchers much more flexibility in the developement and testing of new workflows.
Within the VPHOP project, SCS and University of Bedfordshire are developing the ICT infrastructure that will give the possibility to execute what we call hypermodels (a “model of models”, an integrative model generated as composition of multiple reductionist models).
The architecture which is being developed includes a number of components typical of a distributed system like authentication, and registry services. It then has components specifically developed to execute hypermodels like a workflow manager.
All modules to be part of an hyermodel have to be "wrapped" so to expose the same API to the rest of the architecture. The standard wrapper includes a specific code or algorithm to be executed and the code can be changed only by the development team. To allow major flexibility a new version of the wrapper has been developed which is called "Programmable wrapper".
This wrapper provides the API to the hypermodel architecture for a module with specific inputs and outputs and which can launch script (in interpreted languages like python, or Octave). The advantage of this wrapper is that the researchers can change the script to be executed or have multiple versions of it by simply uploading the new version into a webpage and assign it for execution to a specific module. The selection of the script to be associated to the wrapper is also user-dependet thus allowing different users to laucnh workflows with different versions of the same module.