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1 CompuSteer September 2006 VizNET and the potential N.V.S. Dr. Ian Grimstead Cardiff School of Computer Science

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Presentation on theme: "1 CompuSteer September 2006 VizNET and the potential N.V.S. Dr. Ian Grimstead Cardiff School of Computer Science"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 CompuSteer September 2006 VizNET and the potential N.V.S. Dr. Ian Grimstead Cardiff School of Computer Science Anyone Interested in a National Visualization Service?

2 2 CompuSteer September 2006 Contents Introduction - visualization VizNET: Who/What? National Visualization Service – Why? Summary of Loughborough Meeting for NVS Wrap-up

3 3 CompuSteer September 2006 Visualization acknowledged as requiring additional support Growing data mountain – the need to analyse data rapidly Visualization is a means to do this Need to increase peoples awareness of this potential solution Motivation: Visualization previously required specialist, expensive hardware Recent availability of cost-effective hardware Research groups now newly enabled to use visualization Introduction Anyone seen my results?

4 4 CompuSteer September 2006 Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has recently funded VizNET in the U.K. to: Offer advice / training for visualization Promote best practice Make best use of facilities (hardware & software) Most appropriate tools for the job Spread awareness of visualization And hence computational steering VizNET: What?

5 5 CompuSteer September 2006 VizNET is: PI – Prof. Roy Kalawsky (Loughborough) Created by a number of UK visualization centres Cardiff, CCLRC, Leeds, Loughborough, Manchester + Kings College London (Arts & Humanities) So, on the subject of visualization… VizNET: Who?

6 6 CompuSteer September 2006 National Visualization Service: Why? National Grid Service currently provides compute service Growing evidence: Overwhelmed with high-end compute output Advanced scientific users require high-end visualization Need specialist visualization hardware/software Proposition: A National Visualization Service What does this mean? It means whatever the community defines it as Not just viz …could be a render farm …could be computational steering …up to you! Hence attendance at events to gather community input

7 7 CompuSteer September 2006 Summary of Loughborough Meeting Visualization requirements workshop 18 th May 2006 Systems Engineering Innovation Centre, Loughborough University Aims of meeting: Inform the JISC Committee for Supporting Research (JCSR) Determine strength of support for a national visualization resource Considered as a possible extension to the existing National Grid Service Attendees: Reasonable spectrum of disciplines Spread across the UK

8 8 CompuSteer September 2006 Factors/Issues Highlighted Prof. Peter Coveney (UCL) gave a keynote speech Computational materials modelling; RealityGrid Important issues raised: Current e-Science infrastructure is incomplete Does not provide all end-to-end capability people expect Trend will be for larger data sets to prevent finite size effects Will produce more demanding visualization challenges Likely key requirement: Real-time interaction and computational steering Between visualizations and simulations Distributed infrastructure Cited HPC usage report from EPSRC…

9 9 CompuSteer September 2006 International Review of Research Using HPC in the UK December 2005 – EPSRC (ISBN ) Recommendation: 2. Strengthen the computational infrastructure by: …deploying leading-edge capability systems… Supporting and developing a state-of-the-art applications software infrastructure …data management and analysis, visualization… (p16) Recommendation: 4.4.Visualization Resources …visualization is indispensable in computational science… …the Panel observed that visualization in the UK lags behind international standards…..... The Panel are concerned that without an improvement in visualization sophistication… …hidden scientific treasures will increasingly lurk undiscovered in the massive data to be produced by the enhancement of HPC capability and capacity… …Therefore, the Panel recommends… …to establish a balance among leading-edge computing facilities, visualization technologies, and well educated computational scientists. (p15)

10 10 CompuSteer September 2006 User Perspective / Requirements Summary from attendees: NGS policies would need to change to incorporate a visualization component. Need to support wide range of users Users need access to familiar tools Improved tools will be required Collaborative tools May be a case for a single monster resource and multiple mini- monsters Covers interactive and batch approaches (render farm) Should include all modalities (visual / auditory / haptic) Support for mobile – visualization on the move Data transfer / storage issues

11 11 CompuSteer September 2006 Service Provision Summary from attendees: Interactive service requires different booking method cpw. batch May need co-allocation with compute resource for computation steering Issue of suppliers – may become more reliant on PC class hardware User support needs will vary: Expert – specialist assistance Novice – general assistance Service must be reliable One stop sign-in for ease of access Varying security requirements Medical data cpw. generic scientific data Diverse applications (users own code / specific application) Licensing issues OK, Im up here… …now what?

12 12 CompuSteer September 2006 Recommendations #1/3 National Visualization Service Consensus support for a National Visualization Service Run alongside NGS Should be a distributed, rather than centralized, service Different sites offer different facilities and access to visualization resources Level of provision: orders of magnitude greater than PC desktop hardware

13 13 CompuSteer September 2006 Recommendations #2/3 User Requirements We need to consider requirements from a broad spectrum of users Users requirements in social sciences, arts and humanities are less well understood Compare with science and engineering community Needs support for interactive computational steering Collaborative visualization working could be of major benefit to the community Especially at an international level Im a VTK/C++ man, mself

14 14 CompuSteer September 2006 Recommendations #3/3 Accessibility Barriers may exist until potential users are up to speed VizNET has a role here in providing training and support. Reservation of visualization facilities is important Example: for interactive computational steering, or high-profile demonstrations Software licensing is an issue that may need vendor participation to resolve. Funding JISC should be encouraged to consider a National Visualization Service Within JISCs budgetary planning for funding as soon as possible

15 15 CompuSteer September 2006 Its… Win* Your Own NVS Time! Well… Partake and you will help define the NVS as you want it So you'll get your own NVS in a way OK! Anyone using visualization? Computation steering? You may not consider it viz/comp steer, but it might be! Broad spectrum Interactive and non-traditional displays Haptics Off-line rendering Batch job checkpointing Graphing of data * = do not win

16 16 CompuSteer September 2006 Anyone using Viz. / Comp. Steering? To produce an NVS, wed love to know… What are you doing – executive summary, please! What does viz / comp steer enable you to do? That you couldn't otherwise Or, Why bother for the non-visualization users What are you prevented from doing? Why? Its rock hard! perchance? Or rather, what would you like to be doing? Any particular software/hardware do you use? If there was an NVS, what would you like? For instance… High-end graphics processors to render a larger dataset in real time? Software that you haven't got locally? A link into an NGS process that's running for comp steer?

17 17 CompuSteer September 2006 Its a Wrap! Thank-you for your input! And (potentially) surviving the humour Remember! We need to be user driven by YOU for this to work!!! Note: Additional workshops to be held UK e-Science AHM 2006 – next Wednesday Also at NeSC, as Loughborough workshop Date to be confirmed; in October 2006 at NeSC

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