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Enabling the comparability of research workflows: a case study

Abstract : As a result of the massive introduction of computer-assisted research workflows in and around the analysis of heritage items, we are today witnessing a blooming of highly specialized, and sometimes obscure for outsiders, data processing chains. Operations conducted on this or that site include a vast range of digitization activities and an equally vast array of post-processing roadmaps. The amount, diversity, and sometimes complexity of these operations are definitely a challenging aspect of the heritage science community’s move towards “more” digital data acquisition and processing. It hinders that community’s ability to identify and share, beyond results, methods and argumentation. In particular, it jeopardizes its capacity to preserve and explain research processes on the long term, and therefore to ensure their reproducibility (obviously a key methodological issue if processes should fall within a “scientific” approach). The paper presents the MEMORIA research, aimed at experimenting a practical solution for the formalization and intersubjective description of research workflows. The initiative bases on the idea that, beyond metadata describing outputs themselves, the scientific community concerned is awaiting for means to ensure their verifiability, reproducibility and comparability. The paper focuses on two aspects: • A real-case experimentation on a series of investigations we have conducted on the historical centre of Krakow (Poland) over the last 15 years. • A feedback on difficulties to foresee at a methodological level, for instance in terms of grain (what exactly should be recorded? Each and every click inside a given computer software? Certainly not...)
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 6:28:13 PM
Last modification on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 11:54:02 AM
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Iwona Dudek, Jean-Yves Blaise. Enabling the comparability of research workflows: a case study. CAA series Computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology, In press. ⟨halshs-02927631⟩

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