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CAST Communications - Winter 2007
by Peter Rony and Karl Schnelle
Welcome to the tenth online issue of CAST Communications, which includes one of the most interesting contributions ever to appear in this newsletter. We refer to the CAST Award Address given by Chris Floudas at the CAST Division banquet in San Francisco during the November 2006 AIChE annual meeting.
Chris expended an enormous amount of imagination and effort to create his multimedia award presentation, which included five, Google-Earth, Windows-Media-Audio/Video-file visits to Greece, Ionnina, Thessaloniki, CMU, and Princeton. Chris did one of the finest jobs that the editors have ever seen in CAST Communications, with his tasteful acknowledgements of both colleagues and graduate students.
The WMV files are very large. In addition to these files, the PowerPoint presentation was 60,202 KB in size – and had many color images. To make downloading times reasonable for this newsletter, we have subdivided the total presentation into (a) a simplified Acrobat PDF file for the PowerPoint presentation (size 6,140 KB) plus (b) the five Windows Media files.
Chris kindly provided the editors with instructions about how to play the embedded Google Earth files contained in his PowerPoint presentation.
Also published in this issue is “Data Compression for Process Historians”, by Peter A. James, which was originally published in the printed CAST Communications, volume 19, number 2, Summer 1996. At that time, Peter was employed at Chevron Research and Technology Company.
Peter Rony (a UC-Berkeley alumnus) notes, with sadness, the passing of Professor Emeritus Alan Foss, who died on February 22, 2006, at age 76 after a long illness. Alan attended CAST Division banquets for many years after the beginning of his illness. (See the obituary, which was published in the U. of California at Berkeley College of Chemistry News and Publications.).
Also, don't miss the Centennial Corner in the latest issue of CEP (Feb 2007, p18) by Richard Snow. He reminisces that one of his papers was "the first published chemical reactor design using a digital computer." Can you guess what year?
Finally, the Associated Press reported from Stockholm that, on February 5, 2007, the “World's oldest newspaper goes digital”. It is about time. Here are further details: “For centuries, readers thumbed through the crackling pages of Sweden's Post-och Inrikes Tidningar newspaper. No longer. The world's oldest paper still in circulation has dropped its paper edition and now exists only in cyberspace. The newspaper, founded in 1645 by Sweden's Queen Kristina, became a Web-only publication on Jan. 1. It's a fate, many ink-stained writers and readers fear, that may await many of the world's most venerable journals.” [Guardian Unlimited]
The Quote of the Day for this issue is by Claude Monet.
Computing in Chemical Engineering Award - Recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of computing and systems technology to chemical engineering
The introduction [428 KB ] to the attendees of the 2006 CAST Awards dinner may be downloaded in pdf format.
2006 Computing in Chemical Engineering Award Lecture
The award presentation [6 MB ] to the attendees of the 2006 CAST Awards dinner may be downloaded in pdf format. During the presentation, Chris also showed a few short movies, which are included below as *.wmv files. These "Windows Media Video" files are clever for a talk; they are web captures from Google Earth that illustrate specific geographical locations.
Editors' Note: These files are very, very large. Please right-click and select "Save Target As..." to download them to your own computer.
If you have an internet connection that is slower than DSL (a modem for instance), the files will take more than 1 hour to download EACH!!!
An online speed test is at tech.msn.com.
Chris Floudas simplified 02.pdf 6,140 KB Greece.wmv 8,624 KB Ioannina.wmv 12,508 KB Thessaloniki.wmv 17,219 KB CMU.wmv 10,024 KB Princeton.wmv 12,401 KB
News from the 2006 CAST Awards Dinner
We would like to congratulate again all the award winners announced at the 2006 awards dinner:
And a special thank you to Wayne Bequette for serving as the 2006 CAST Chair.
Sahinidis Receives Beale-Orchard-Hays Prize
A member of the CAST Division, Nick Sahinidis, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at U of I, has won the 2006
Beale-Orchard-Hays Prize, given by
The Mathematical Programming Society.
The Citation states:
CAST Election Results
Please welcome these new members of the executive committee. Thanks to everyone involved in selecting, organizing and executing the election, as well as to all the candidates. The commitment to CAST by all these individuals is noteworthy.
New WebCAST CHAIR: Richard D. Braatz
Letter to the Editor
from Paul Gusciora
10 Jan 2007
Dear Prof. Rony:
I am writing to request that CAST republish an article that appeared in
an earlier CAST newsletter.
The article by my colleague at Chevron:
Peter A. James: "Data Compression for Process Historians." CAST Communications, v19, n2, Summer 1996. p15-21
is only available in paper. It is not available in PDF or HTML form. Since the article is not available in electronic form, and the CAST newsletter is not retained by many libraries, the article is not available to researchers who might want to read or cite it. This is unfortunate, because the article contains analysis that has not been repeated elsewhere.
I recently read on the CAST website that some people were complaining about the lack of literature citations in articles published in the CAST newsletter. This article cites 14 prior works, including some IEEE papers from 1967 that have been overlooked by later work published in refereed journals.
Peter James has the article with his marked-up corrections as a scanned PDF document. I believe that he has an electronic version of the text document, so publishing this should be fairly straightforward with minor editing. For example, his e-mail address has changed.
Please republish this article for the benefit of the engineering community that is working on time-series data compression.
Paul H. Gusciora, Ph.D., P.E.
Senior Software Developer
Data Compression for Process Historians
Copyright © 1995 by Peter A. James
Chevron Energy Technology Company
100 Chevron Way
Richmond, CA 94802-0627
pajames at chevron.com
This paper deals with storing and retrieving the time history of plant sensor data. Historization is an important part of modern plant monitoring and information systems. Operators look at real-time multivariable trends for clues to "what's going on", post-mortem committees need to reconstruct the circumstances leading up to plant "incidents", and engineering studies benefit from a way-back look at a not-so-recent mode of operation.
Why compress, why not just store all data? The reasons are pretty obvious:
Efficient utilization of storage space is important even with today's huge storage volumes. Operations and Engineering want months of data online in addition to last shift's. Compression is not the only means to fulfill this need: storage of "averaged" data (e.g. hourly, shift, daily, weekly averages) may fulfill the really long term data storage requirement. Nonetheless, for some "short" time scale most clients want "raw" data or some really close approximation thereto. And "short" may mean months or longer to some clients.
Data compression is not effective at dealing with limited I/O bandwidth at all times. This is because there will be intervals during which little or no compression will take place, e.g. computer or instrumentation subsystem startup, plant upsets, neurotic sensors. Compression can only help insofar as memory buffers are able to provide a temporary repository when the I/O channels are "maxed out".
Compression is not the only means to deal with limited I/O bandwidth. Multiple channels can be provided. This especially convenient along the lines of datatype (e.g. analogs versus discretes) since the different data types are usually dealt with separately anyway.
Who's the Client?
The client is an operator, an engineer, a plant supervisor, an accountant, a government agency -- in short, anybody or any body that may want a peek at the historical record. Choosing a compression method is as much a matter of clientele proclivity as mathematical proof.
The entire article [115 KB ] (including figures and tables) may be downloaded in pdf format.
Free CAST Membership Offered!
by Karen High, CAST Chair
CAST membership is now free to Undergraduate AIChE members! This is a great mechanism for students to find out about what goes on in the CAST Division. One of the best perks is their ability to participate in live webCASTS!
How to Contact AIChE
Publication sales, meeting registration, applications for membership, technical training, and other AlChE products and services may be obtained by using the contact information below or visiting AIChE Contacts.
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
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New York, NY 10016-5991
General Inquiries: 800-242-4363
International calls: 212-591-8100
On-line contact form
For answers to questions, try one of the following AIChE Staff:
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CAST10 E-Mail List
The following websites are used to participate in the list:
The address to post messages to the list is CAST10 at LISTSERV.UMD.EDU .
2007 Award Nomination Form
Until updated, please use the 2006 Award Nomination Form [52KB, MS Word], which should be completed by April 15, 2007. See CAST Division Awards for more information.
Quote of the Day
To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at. -- Claude Monet [1840-1926]
CAST Communications Advertising Policy
|Advertising Rates:||1/4 page = $60; 1/3 page = $70; 1/2 page = $90; 2/3 page = $120; 1 page (8.5" x 11") = $150|
|Production Details:||Retain your original art, please. Submit an e-mail containing a WORD or PDF version (contact editor for preferred formats) of your advertisement, to the CAST newsletter editor: Peter R. Rony.|
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|Questions:||Peter R. Rony, Telephone (540) 951-2805|
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The Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division of AIChE is responsible for the wide range of activities within AIChE that involve the application of computers and mathematics to chemical engineering problems including process design, process control, operations, and applied mathematics. We arrange technical sessions at AIChE Meetings, organize special conferences, and publish this newsletter - CAST Communications - twice a year. These activities enable our members to keep abreast of the rapidly changing fields of computing and system technology. The cost is $10 per year, and includes a subscription to this newsletter. Shouldn't you join the CAST Division now?
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CAST Communications - Winter 2007
The Semi-Annual Publication of the Computers and Systems Technology Division of AIChE
Editor: Peter R. Rony, Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, Virginia Tech
Associate Editor: Karl D. Schnelle, Dow AgroSciences LLC