TraCIM Computational Aims Database: a Tutorial

Authors: Keith Lines and Ian Smith, NPL; edited for web: Ulrich Brandt, PTB
Further information about the TraCIM Computational Aims Database can be found at

When software is used to deliver a measurement result, metrological traceability requires the documentation of all aspects in the process of developing, implementing and testing the software so that each stage in the process can be understood, checked and reproduced. For example, it should be shown, that the evaluation software is operating correctly.

It is only possible to verify and validate software when it is known what problem the software is intended to solve or task the software is intended to execute. A statement of the computational aim of the software is used to set the user and functional requirements for the software developer, i.e., to specify what is required of software to be a conforming product, and to provide a basis for the verification and validation of a software implementation.

The Computational Aim Database is not targeted exclusively at the members of the TraCIM network, although others (outside the TraCIM network) may propose a specification of a computational aim. It is anticipated that those involved in the TraCIM system will review and finalise that specification.

The database is designed to serve users and receive contributions from users. Therefore, there are three categories of users:

(clicking on a hyperlink below will show detailed information)

- Search Only: users are only able to query database for specifications that have been approved (read-only)
- Contributor: contributors can provide specifications for adding, can edit own specifications and request
  release (registration required)
- Editor: editors can approve specifications and can request modifications(registration required)

*A username and password is required. In order to obtain a username and a password please contact the database administrator.

Overview image

Opens internal link in current window(Back to user categories)

Screenshot of the website for 'Search Only' users

The screenshot below shows the homepage of the ‘TraCIM Computational Aims Database’. To start your search, please click on the button ‘Computational Aims’ on the left.

The next figure shows the initial query page. The usage of available options are shown and explained consecutively.

Step 1: select your preferred language from the first dropdown list

Step 2: select your 'mathematical area' from the second dropdown list

Step 3: select your 'metrology area' from the third dropdown list

Alternatively you can use the 'free text search' for key words, for instance ‘Gaus*’, to search for stored documents. If you want to find a part or parts of a keyword the *(asterix) symbol may be used as a wildcard character.

The next screenshot shows a possible query result for a free text search with a part of a key word and a 'wildcard character' ('Gaus*')
An example for a database query is given below. It shows a list of available documents related to the metrology area ‘Length’

Opens internal link in current window(Back to user categories)

Contributor options

If you want to contribute something, select the 'Log in' option of the overview page (bottom left) and submit your data. If you are not a registered user so far, check the option 'contact the database administrator' and proceed as directed.

Image after sucessful contributor login
Clicking the 'Templates' option will download LaTeX and MS-Word templates for Computational Aims specifications.
NOTE: files to be submitted must be in PDF format.
The 'Management' option will show a menu for adding, editing and submitting specifications (next image).
After selecting, a mask for processing will appear.
If you only want to save your work without submitting it, do not check the 'Tick to submit for review and approval' box.
This leaves futher editing or changing of the text open.

Otherwise, the contributions will be submitted for review and approval. Futher editing or changing it not possible after that.

After submission, the progress of review can be tracked with the option 'Track Progress of my Submitted Computational Aims'.
If the editor/reviewer wants changes, an e-mail will be sent to the contributor. Please use 'Revise/Resubmit' option (red arrow in the image above).

A 'Revise/Resubmit' search image will look like this:
The form for submission is largely the same as for adding contributions. There are additional fields for Editor's comments and details and for Contributor comments.

Opens internal link in current window(Back to user categories)