Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Scientific Workflows

  • Bertram LudäscherEmail author
  • Shawn Bowers
  • Timothy McPhillips
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1471


Grid workflow; In silico experiment


A scientific workflow is the description of a process for accomplishing a scientific objective, usually expressed in terms of tasks and their dependencies. Typically, scientific workflow tasks are computational steps for scientific simulations or data analysis steps. Common elements or stages in scientific workflows are acquisition, integration, reduction, visualization, and publication (e.g., in a shared database) of scientific data. The tasks of a scientific workflow are organized (at design time) and orchestrated (at runtime) according to dataflow and possibly other dependencies as specified by the workflow designer. Workflows can be designed visually, e.g., using block diagrams, or textually using a domain-specific language.

Historical Background

Workflows have a long history in the database community and in business process modeling, in which case they are sometimes called business workflowsto distinguish them from...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bertram Ludäscher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shawn Bowers
    • 1
  • Timothy McPhillips
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California-DavisDavisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Barbara Pernici
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. di Elettronica e InformazionePolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly