Which firms are more likely to invent technological breakthroughs, such as Hewlett-Packard's invention of the thermal ink-jet? I induct theory for this question by interpreting the history of the breakthrough as a recombinant and boundedly rational search process. The firm increased its odds of success by generating many high-variance inventive trials; it mixed and juxtaposed diverse technologies, professions and experience, managed by objective and collocated. The firm exploited this variance with effective selection processes, strong socialization norms, deep experience with the components of invention, rapid prototyping and testing, and scientific knowledge and method. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
COMPUTER software, SEARCH engines, PHYLOGENY, GENOMICS, and GENOMES
The PHylogenetic Analysis with Space/Time models (PHAST) software package consists of a collection of command-line programs and supporting libraries for comparative genomics. PHAST is best known as the engine behind the Conservation tracks in the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser. However, it also includes several other tools for phylogenetic modeling and functional element identification, as well as utilities for manipulating alignments, trees and genomic annotations. PHAST has been in development since 2002 and has now been downloaded more than 1000 times, but so far it has been released only as provisional (‘beta’) software. Here, we describe the first official release (v1.0) of PHAST, with improved stability, portability and documentation and several new features. We outline the components of the package and detail recent improvements. In addition, we introduce a new interface to the PHAST libraries from the R statistical computing environment, called RPHAST, and illustrate its use in a series of vignettes. We demonstrate that RPHAST can be particularly useful in applications involving both large-scale phylogenomics and complex statistical analyses. The R interface also makes the PHAST libraries acccessible to non-C programmers, and is useful for rapid prototyping. PHAST v1.0 and RPHAST v1.0 are available for download at http://compgen.bscb.cornell.edu/phast, under the terms of an unrestrictive BSD-style license. RPHAST can also be obtained from the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN; http://cran.r-project.org). [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
DATA warehousing, MANAGEMENT information systems, DATA structures, ELECTRONIC data processing, COMPUTER architecture, and METADATA
Current data integration approaches by bioinformaticians frequently involve extracting data from a wide variety of public and private data repositories, each with a unique vocabulary and schema, via scripts. These separate data sets must then be normalized through the tedious and lengthy process of resolving naming differences and collecting information into a single view. Attempts to consolidate such diverse data using data warehouses or federated queries add significant complexity and have shown limitations in flexibility. The alternative of complete semantic integration of data requires a massive, sustained effort in mapping data types and maintaining ontologies. We focused instead on creating a data architecture that leverages semantic mapping of experimental metadata, to support the rapid prototyping of scientific discovery applications with the twin goals of reducing architectural complexity while still leveraging semantic technologies to provide flexibility, efficiency and more fully characterized data relationships. A metadata ontology was developed to describe our discovery process. A metadata repository was then created by mapping metadata from existing data sources into this ontology, generating RDF triples to describe the entities. Finally an interface to the repository was designed which provided not only search and browse capabilities but complex query templates that aggregate data from both RDF and RDBMS sources. We describe how this approach (i) allows scientists to discover and link relevant data across diverse data sources and (ii) provides a platform for development of integrative informatics applications. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
COMPUTER operating systems, COMMERCIAL products, ECONOMIC life of fixed assets, RAPID prototyping, PRODUCT management, MODEL cars (Toys), and SOCIAL psychology research
Automobile manufacturers have long had a policy of introducing annual style changes into their new model cars. Textbook publishers have a policy of periodically bringing out revised editions of their popular books. Recently, IBM changed the operating system used in its personal computers causing a reduction in the compatibility between its old and new machines. If one were to ask the typical man in the street to explain what is happening in these markets, he would not hesitate before giving the following answer. In economists' terminology, he would say that for the above firms the incentive to introduce new products that make old units obsolete is too high i.e., the firms have an incentive to practice planned obsolescence. Despite many similarities, there is an important difference between this paper's argument and that put forth by Coase and Bulow. In the Coase-Bulow argument the time-inconsistency problem causes the monopolist who sells his output to behave in a fashion such that profits are lower than in the rental solution, but social welfare is in fact higher.