The GGF workshop program was initiated at GGF7, as a part of various efforts to involve the research community more deeply in the future of GGF. In order to oversee and provide guidance to the Research groups hosting the workshops that will be held at every GGF meeting, a committee called the Grid Research Oversight Committee (GROC) was formed. Its functions are to evaluate the workshop proposals, make suggestions to help improve the workshops during their planning stages and oversee the quality of the workshops being hosted.
GGF is already established as a place for standards-setting activities, in order to foster building of truly interoperable Grid middleware and applications. However, because Grid technology is evolving so fast in so many directions it is essential that GGF as a whole not focus merely on standards, but also serve as a focal point for researchers conducting advanced research, which may lead to future Grid standards. As such, we need the input from researchers as much as from industrial practice and experience.
Although the GGF WG/RG slots are intended for document discussions only, in reality in the past GGFs many Research groups have been holding semi-workshop style meetings to foster research in their domain. The GGF Workshop is an attempt to replace the series of 90-minute GGF sessions, which had been occupied by such semi-workshop activities that had been somewhat impromptu and not being well documented, with a more formal and well-planned structure. Since the main purpose of GGF is to document standards, best practices, and common research results, it is very important that such activities be properly archived as a GGF document. On the other hand the workshop series is designed to be lightweight, and to facilitate requests to repeat one as often as possible if the topics seem viable, and the format remains well organized.
As a consequence of the new workshop structure, future usage of 90-minute slots will be restricted to non-workshop-like activities only. The Area Directors should make a note when the RG/WG chairs submit an agenda for the slots, and suggest holding workshops if they detect workshop-like agendas being proposed.
The GGF Steering Group has envisioned three types of workshops as outlined below, but there may be other types of workshops conceivable, and/or a single workshop may embody a combination of the types as follows:
Type one (invited presentations workshop) would be a series of invited talks focused on a specific theme. We would encourage but not necessitate each speaker to prepare a paper, which could be controlled by the workshop committee and published as a GGF document. We could further have the papers collection reviewed for a journal to publish it as a special issue.
Type two (refereed workshop) would contain papers on a focused theme of interest to GGF. The difference from 1. is that it would be similar to a mini-symposium, i.e., there would be a call for papers and a review panel. Selected contributions would be presented at the workshop and the proceedings would be published under the GGF banner, as a GGF document or some other. Again, we would consider a special issue of a journal as a venue for the publication. (Note: Type 2 will be instituted after GGF9.)
Type three (discussions and brainstorming workshop) would be a focused study of a particular problem by a group of GGF participants. The outcome of the workshop would be published as a special report to GGF as part of the standard document series. The group that proposes such a workshop would be responsible for delivery of the document.
Each of these workshops would be usually either one day or half of a day during the GGF meeting, with possible extensions beyond that as required. The Lifesciences RG Workshop held during GGF7 spanned over 1.5 days.
The first GROC members have been chosen from esteemed colleagues with high academic status, possessing wealth of experience in conducting, directing and advising academic research, as well as having significant involvement with Grid activities.
The current term of appointment for GROC members is planned to be one year, with renewal possibilities. The current GROC members are:
The emphasis of workshops as one of the major GGF activities will allow Research Groups to focus on longer term topics. If the workshops are proven to be successful, then the GROC will oversee most of the GGF research activities as a whole, freeing the GFSG to concentrate more on Working Group and the standards document deliverables management. You are invited to attend the workshops, and provide us with feedback on how we may be improving the process. GROC is a very new part of GGF, but its success will be very important for outreaching into the academia so that new ideas will flourish more rapidly, tying the academia and the industry closer together.
Dennis Gannon and Satoshi Matsuoka
GGF GROC Co-Chairs