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Wildfire: distributed, Grid-enabled workflow construction and execution

Francis Tang1, Ching Lian Chua2, Liang-Yoong Ho1, Yun Ping Lim3, Praveen Issac4 and Arun Krishnan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Information Science Research, Bioinformatics Institute, 30 Biopolis Street, #07-01, Matrix, 138671 Singapore

2 Operations Research Lab, DSO National Laboratories, 20 Science Park Drive, 118230 Singapore

3 Singapore Biomedical Computing Resource, Bioinformatics Institute, 30 Biopolis Street, #07-01, Matrix, 138671 Singapore

4 Global Software Group, Motorola Electronics Pte Ltd, 12 Ang Mo Kio St. 64, Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 3, 569088 Singapore

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BMC Bioinformatics 2005, 6:69  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-6-69

Published: 24 March 2005



We observe two trends in bioinformatics: (i) analyses are increasing in complexity, often requiring several applications to be run as a workflow; and (ii) multiple CPU clusters and Grids are available to more scientists. The traditional solution to the problem of running workflows across multiple CPUs required programming, often in a scripting language such as perl. Programming places such solutions beyond the reach of many bioinformatics consumers.


We present Wildfire, a graphical user interface for constructing and running workflows. Wildfire borrows user interface features from Jemboss and adds a drag-and-drop interface allowing the user to compose EMBOSS (and other) programs into workflows. For execution, Wildfire uses GEL, the underlying workflow execution engine, which can exploit available parallelism on multiple CPU machines including Beowulf-class clusters and Grids.


Wildfire simplifies the tasks of constructing and executing bioinformatics workflows.