A Grid-based research strategy can investigate the complexity of human social behaviour in its full economic and social context by overcoming current by overcoming current limitations of computing power and access to data that may hinder more complex investigations. Although the desktop PC is very versatile, it's not powerful enough on its own to model the real complexities of human behaviour in their full socio-economic complexity.
Currently, if researchers wish to combine multiple datasets from different sources, different geographies or different time-periods then this is not particularly easy, and consequently fewer researchers attempt to do this type of research. The Grid offers the prospect of providing easier access to the appropriate computing technology for such demanding research designs. Time saved in the more onerous aspects of research can be better used in the initial design and subsequent analysis of more realistic research investigations.
How the Grid can help researchers:
This comparison table summarises the differences between the current Web model and the Grid approach to research using large data sources and High Performance Computer facilities.