Optimized data migration within a system of linked medical research databases
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Optimized Data Migration within a System of Linked Medical Research Databases. By Jared Christopherson U. of Connecticut. Problem to Address. Medical research requires connections to multiple hospitals, institutions, or online databases Data must be compiled manually

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Optimized Data Migration within a System of Linked Medical Research Databases

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Optimized data migration within a system of linked medical research databases

Optimized Data Migration within a System of Linked Medical Research Databases

By Jared Christopherson

U. of Connecticut


Problem to address

Problem to Address

  • Medical research requires connections to multiple hospitals, institutions, or online databases

  • Data must be compiled manually

  • Process is time-consuming


General project goal

General Project Goal


Project goals

Project Goals:

  • Present data as though from a single source

  • Give the researcher flexibility with viewing the data

  • Optimize data flow with site caching


Real world issue data formatting

Real World Issue: Data Formatting


Real world issue data formatting1

Real World Issue: Data Formatting


Solution master template

Solution: Master Template


Master templates and display templates

Master Templates and Display Templates


Basic functionality

Basic Functionality

  • Provides a simple search for users

  • Researchers have the option of selecting a pre-set Display Template to only display data relevant to their needs

  • Queries each database individually according to the Master Template

  • Returns results and (optionally) compiles them into a single list

  • Use AJAX to return results for each database


Caching and optimization

Caching and Optimization

  • Goal: researchers should have fastest access possible to the info they seek

  • X-RAY or MRI images could be 2-5Mb in size each

  • What if researchers in the US consistently need access to data on a server in Asia?

  • Local access would be fastest


Optimized data migration within a system of linked medical research databases

Caching Goal


Caching and optimization possible solutions

Caching and Optimization: Possible Solutions

  • Move everything to a central server

  • Move records around as they are accessed

  • Cache everything

  • Cache databases based on usage


Query and result set no caching

Query and Result Set – No Caching


Caching process

Caching Process


Caching complete

Caching Complete


Region caching

Region Caching


Database caching queue what to cache

Database Caching Queue – What to cache?

For each region, determines the top external servers used based on a percentage of queries


Database caching queue

Database Caching Queue

  • Need a method to determine the most heavily requested external databases for each region

  • Track statistics:

    • Convert IP address -> region whenever a user performs a search

    • Increment result count for the record that keeps track of the region ID and database ID


Db queue to cache

DB Queue to Cache


Caching and optimization where to cache data

Caching and Optimization: Where to cache data

  • Real-world constraints

  • allow_cache

    • supersite

      • bandwidth

        • cache_size


Caching and optimization script process

Caching and Optimization: Script Process

Runs at frequency set by admin

This process continues for each region with the program assigning data to servers with progressively lower bandwidth and cache_size scores until all the server space from that region is exhausted


Caching and optimization script process1

Caching and Optimization: Script Process

At the end, each region should have as many local copies of the most frequently requested databases as possible

Cached copies are read-only


Further work and improvements

Further Work and Improvements

  • Allow different types of databases (DAL)

  • Remove overlapping data

  • Script to determine when individual caches need to be updated


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