LIGO - The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory - is one of several large projects being undertaken in the United States, Europe and Japan to detect gravitational radiation. The novelty and precision of these instruments is such that large volumes of data will be generated in an attempt to find a small number of weak signals, which can be identified only as subtle changes in the instrument output over time. In this paper, I discuss how the nature of the LIGO experiment determines the size of the data archive that will be produced, how the nature of the analyses that must be used to search the LIGO data for signals determines the anticipated access patterns on the archive, and how the LIGO data analysis system is designed to cope with the problems of LIGO data analysis.
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