The NEES Data Model and NEEScentral Data Repository: A Framework for Data Collaboration in Support of Earthquake Engineering Research

Professor Lelli Van Den Einde

The George E Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) is a shared national network of 15 experimental facilities, collaborative tools, a centralized data repository, and earthquake simulation software, all linked together to enable engineers to develop better and more cost-effective ways of mitigating earthquake damage. To support data organization, archiving and dissemination resulting from NEES related research, the NEES Cyberinfrastructure Center (NEESit) has developed a central data repository (NEEScentral) to capture important reservoirs of data and expose them to the community where their useful lifetime can be extended.

NEEScentral provides a centralized location for researchers to securely organize, store, and share data and metadata in a nonproprietary format that can be used in data manipulation and visualization tools. To define the structure by which NEES experiment data are organized, the NEES Data Model was developed, which represents classes of entities and relationships to provide essential data for reproducing experimental and computational simulation results. It is based on a hierarchical structure, consisting of Projects, Experiments, Trials and Repetitions, that collects highly detailed information from each experiment or computational simulation in order to be able to reproduce the research.

The NEEScentral Data Repository and supporting data model provide a data management infrastructure to shorten the gap between research and practice through long-term preservation and sharing of data. The ultimate goal is to provide access to different types of experimental and computational data to promote and facilitate collaborative and interactive processes required to address the complex nature of seismic events and their physical and societal impacts, ultimately reducing vulnerabilities from earthquakes.