Chilean Virtual Observatory services implementation for the ALMA public data

Abstract

Currently, the standards and protocols for data access in the Virtual Observatory architecture (DAL) are generally implemented with relational databases based on SQL. In particular, the Astronomical Data Query Language (ADQL), language used by IVOA to represent queries to VO services, was created to satisfy the different data access protocols, such as Simple Cone Search. ADQL is based in SQL92, and has extra functionality implemented using PgSphere. An emergent alternative to SQL are the so called NoSQL databases, which can be classified in several categories such as Column, Document, Key-Value, Graph, Object, etc.; each one recommended for different scenarios. Within their notable characteristics we can find: schema-free, easy replication support, simple API, Big Data, etc. The Chilean Virtual Observatory (ChiVO) is developing a functional prototype based on the IVOA architecture, with the following relevant factors: Performance, Scalability, Flexibility, Complexity, and Functionality. Currently, it’s very difficult to compare these factors, due to a lack of alternatives. The objective of this paper is to compare NoSQL alternatives with SQL through the implementation of a Web API REST that satisfies ChiVO’s needs: a SESAME-style name resolver for the data from ALMA. Therefore, we propose a test scenario by configuring a NoSQL database with data from different sources and evaluating the feasibility of creating a Simple Cone Search service and its performance. This comparison will allow to pave the way for the application of Big Data databases in the Virtual Observatory.

Publication
In The International Society for Optical Engineering.
Date
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