Algorithm Research and Development Group (ARDG) Operation


The Algorithm R&D Development Group (ARDG) will provide a forum to coordinate algorithms needed for deployment of new instruments and for enhanced operation of existing instruments. The primary goal will be to produce internal memos and formal publications of new algorithms, not to write production software. The development of prototypes will be an essential step for testing by scientists throughout the observatory.

It is recognized that algorithm development is research. ARDG will function as a Science Working Group, not a line management structure within the NRAO.

Working Procedure

  1. We need to identify the problems that do not have readily available solutions.
  2. Priorities for these problems need to be established by the projects and by ARDG working members. These priorities should include dependencies, i.e., an order in which they are addressed.
  3. With the input from the individual developers and the ARDG group, we need to address the problems that the individuals will tackle.
  4. We should then provide a rough estimate of a timescale for deliverables.

Note that topics 1. and 2. should be considered dynamic. We will identify an initial set, but we will update the problems, their specification, and their priorities as appropriate.

Topics 3. and 4. will occur when a developer is ready to begin work on a new problem. They will occur at least quarterly as a progress check.

ARDG Group Meetings

Initially, we will have a single monthly meeting of the ARDG members. The format and frequency is subject to change based on ongoing experience.

ARDG Management Meetings

The management meetings will take place quarterly to review decisions and progress of the group. It is expected that this will be a limited meeting, but it may be appropriate to invite one or two developers to attend also.

Requirements and Priorities

We have begun to assemble a list of algorithmic problems. Many of these have been extracted from individual project documents. As mentioned, the development and maintenance of this list will be an ongoing process. The next steps will be to assign priorities and some strategic order of development.

The list is initially focused on addressing issues of importance to the EVLA, since it is recognized that these are the most pressing. However, we are also prepared to include topics for ALMA, GBT, and VLBA.


There is a web site which contains links to requirements, work-in-progress memos, and completed memos and publications. To track these simply, we will create a new memo series. The website will also contain or have links to useful external relevant references.

As mentioned, it is not required that the ARDG provide operational software. It is expected that several different packages may be needed to provide all of the operational software to reduce different observations on a given instrument.

-- GarethHunt - 2009-03-24
Topic revision: r2 - 2009-10-19, CarolynWhite
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