Project Introduction

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I am Tra-Vaughn James, a Computer Science major, and Junior:

Today, Bioinformatics is an evolving field, in which computing resources have become more powerful, readily available and workflows have increased in complexity. New workflow management tools (WMT) attempt to develop software that fully harnesses this computational power, creating intuitive implementations utilizing machine learning techniques. This streamlines the design of complex workflows. However, overarching problems still remain that newer workflow management tools do not fully address: they are too specific to particular use cases, and they present a great learning curve for users unfamiliar with computing environments. Many implementations require one to spend copious amounts of time understanding the tool and adjusting already existing frameworks to ones needs, creating frustration and inefficiency. This problem is experienced by both novice and experienced bioinformaticians alike. Using OpenWDL, a Workflow Description Language, as the basis, I seek to develop an open in use workflow management tool coupled with a GUI interface. As OpenWDL is a widely known WMT, its familiarity will aid in my implementations usability. Additionally, the GUI interface will present a more welcoming environment than that of a command line interface in which many WMT’s often employ. To assess the effectiveness of my implementation, I will then assess it to other WMT’s, comparing its usability and openness to other bioinformatic pipeline managers such as SnakeMake and NextFlow.

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