Strategy, plans, and resources to foster and coordinate the retention and sharing of experimental data, whether virtual or centralized, some of which might be created only through the prodding of the CI managers;
A serious commitment and involvement by the research community; and
A sustained funding model that balances investments in advancing high-risk activities with funds needed to operate a dependable infrastructure that provides the community backbone.
This report refers to all of these elements (hardware, software, data, and personnel) as “the cyberinfrastructure.”
Building, operating, and maintaining such a community CI requires a coordinated effort that is fully integrated with the research and engineering vision and roadmap of the community. By its very nature, a CI is a multifaceted entity that spans technology and sociology. In fact, the primary value that a CI can provide to the combustion community is to bridge the disparate subcommunities (kineticists, fluid dynamicists, industrial designers, and so on), and so, by definition, it must be broad and encompassing. This bridging will be achieved by the use of the CI, necessitated by its value to individual researchers. A CI can also require large investments. Although one of the main goals of any community CI is to facilitate the sharing of data and information, an effective community CI also requires the sharing of resources and the adoption of common tools and methodologies. This entire endeavor can be accomplished only through strong leadership, long-term planning and funding, commitment to cultural changes, and methodical execution.
The operation of a CI for scientific and engineering research requires the use of a business model for getting the operation funded and for allocating the funds, strategic decision making about which technologies should be used and/or adopted, and a strong and effective executive management. In addition to these functions, building a community CI needs one or more skillful “technology evangelists” who can build support for the CI and a community vision. In order for these components to be effected, there must be a model for how the community functions. Chapter 3 sketches this model for community functioning in broad terms, but an early step in creating a CI for combustion would entail a more detailed exposition of the resources that exist and a characterization of the flows of information through the community, from basic researchers all the way to designers of combustion systems.
The leaders of the combustion CI must take responsibility for sparking a cultural transformation, because the CI can succeed only if the com-