Within NASA, the immediate application is as a useful user interface for the SMART-NAS system. Imagine a researcher being able to access SMART-NAS from his desktop and generate a useful result from otherwise complicated and hard-to-use models. Imagine what a game-changer it would be if FAA analysts could run a system-wide study using the NASA-developed ACES model with a few clicks of a button? In the meantime, the PQL statements provide a useful common language in which different analysts from different organizations, using both publicly-available as well as proprietary models, can communicate. A user from the FAA's Technical Center using their SIMMOD program can generate a PQL statement describing their use of SIMMOD in a way that an analyst at NASA Ames Research Laboratory, who is skilled in ACES but otherwise unaware of SIMMOD, can understand. In other words, the researcher at the Tech Center has, in a few short lines of text, described completely to the researcher at Ames what s/he is doing with SIMMOD. The Ames researcher should be able to replicate that analysis within ACES (assuming that the analysis is based on features that are available in both models, even if implemented entirely differently). In other words, the SWIFT system, with its embedded PQL, allows communication between researchers to occur in a manner heretofore difficult, if not practically impossible
Outside of NASA, we imagine that desktop analysis engines would become commonplace in the future. Database systems will be extended to include whole models to populate tables, and predictive querly languages like PQL will become a standard. In the future, fast-running (or even slow-running) models will be invoked through web-formatted PQL statements much like extant data can be easily accessed from a desktop using web-generated SQL statements. Data mining, which for now relies on existing data to predict future trends, will be extended to include model-based future predictions to create future data for which future trends will be uncovered. Data mining both past and predicted future data will be a burgeoning field that will extend the scope and reach of analysts. Is this vision too far-fetched? That beyond NASA, a system such as PQL will become standard and open the door to new horizons? We believe that this vision, if anything, is too restrictive. The explosion of computing technology in the future, with the advent of qbit-based Quantum Computers, as well as the under-exploitation of computer technology today, will provide a new platform on which future analysts will be able to conduct research in ways currently unimaginable. A system like SWIFT will likely exploit these capabilities.