2002 Annual

Monday, 14 January 2002: 4:59 PM
The PCMDI Climate Data Analysis Tools (CDAT)—an open system approach to the implementation of a model diagnosis infrastructure
Michael Fiorino, LLNL, Livermore, CA; and D. Williams
Poster PDF (169.2 kB)
The Climate Data Analysis Tools (CDAT) is software infrastructure that uses the object-oriented python scripting language to link separate software subsystems and thus form an integrated environment for solving model diagnosis problems. The power of the system comes from python and the software subsystems. Python provides a general purpose and full-featured scripting language with a variety of user interfaces including command line interaction, stand-alone scripts (applications) and GUIs. The CDAT subsystems, implemented as python modules, provide access and management of gridded data (Climate Data Management System or CDMS); large-array numerical operations (Numpy Mask Arrays or MA); and visualization (Visualization and Calculation System or VCS).

We characterize CDAT as “open system” because the software subsystems are independent and the object-oriented nature of python allows CDAT to be “delay bound” or that the actual tool is built at run time, i.e., is not fixed. Further, the software subsystem python modules are open source and freely available for community-wide development. Thus, CDAT is easily extended and represents a different approach to the technical problem of implementing a model diagnosis infrastructure.

In this paper, we compare and contrast the CDAT approach with more traditional tools built from system-level software (e.g., C and X windows), such as GrADS and ferret, and show how CDAT complements and offers an alternative interface to data accessible by these popular tools. We also demonstrate CDAT-hosted data service applications using the popular Live Access Server (LAS) and Distributed Oceanographic Data System (DODS) systems and using the metadata search capabilities of CDMS.

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