Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Missing link: software connects researchers across networks

06.02.2008
Researchers from Europe, America and China are creating software to better link research networks, paving the way for future scientific breakthroughs.

Major research network grids across the EU are often developed independently from each other, using different types of software and hardware, making it difficult for scientists working on a particular project to use resources outside their own.

The Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute for Europe (OMII-Europe) project is designed to break down such barriers by adopting common standards for grid middleware.

Project manager Alistair Dunlop, a computer scientist at the UK’s University of Southampton, says many major European research projects have already invested heavily in a specific grid middleware platform. The three major platforms used across Europe are gLite, Globus and Unicore.

OMII-Europe was launched in May 2006 as a means of helping researchers see beyond their particular network grid without having to make additional investments, he says.

Connecting the incompatible
Middleware is the software that mediates between application programs and the network. However, once a project commits to a particular middleware, researchers on that network are limited to the resources accessible via that middleware platform. OMII-Europe’s goal is to build interoperable software components that can work across multiple grid middleware platforms. To achieve this, the OMII-Europe project adopts open standards that are emerging from bodies such as the Open Grid Forum (OGF).

By creating software that works across different middleware platforms, the grids can now be linked and research can be shared more easily.

“Users can then use the same methods for submitting and monitoring jobs to cluster resources, or supercomputers, irrespective of the grid middleware being used,” Dunlop says. “Our vision is that these interoperable components will help break the barriers between grid infrastructures so that users have access to many more resources for their work.”

e-Science breakthrough
The breakthrough could have a significant impact on the way e-Science is carried out. He cites the example of a scientist who previously could only submit computing jobs to resources based on gLite, say. With the OMII-Europe components, the scientist would also be able to make the same submission to those using Globus and Unicore.

“This is a significant advancement and increases the range of computational power available to e-scientists,” Dunlop says.

The EU-funded consortium’s 16 partners from across Europe, the USA and China have currently identified a number of research projects that could benefit from such interoperability.

One such example is the Virtual Physiological Human project, which aims to link scientists, clinicians, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists in collaborative research into the human body. The intensive modelling techniques needed for such research require high-performance computing resources such as those available via the grid. The interoperability that OMII-Europe can provide will greatly increase the range of resources available to these scientists.

Linking malaria researchers
Other examples are the Wisdom initiative, which focuses on malaria research, and the EU-funded Share project, which aims to reduce the time and costs involved in developing new drugs, says Dunlop.

“OMII-Europe can help make drug discovery over the grid faster and easier,” he notes.

The project team has identified five components essential for grid work and are re-engineering them using emerging standards. The team puts these components through a rigorous quality assessment process before deploying them for public use.

Training has also been a major focus of OMII-Europe. Already, the group has held several training events across Europe and China on various grid technologies. Training material regarding the deployment and use of the OMII-Europe components is made available through courses and web-based tutorials.

The first phase of the project ends in April 2008, when OMII-Europe expects the developed software components to be made available to researchers via the project’s online repository.

Dunlop says the ultimate goal of the project is to integrate the interoperable components back into the middleware platforms. For instance, one of the components is expected to be bundled into the next release of Unicore.

“Other components will follow suit,” he says. “We're at an interesting stage now where we can demonstrate interoperability across the middleware platforms with real-use cases.”

(Reporting with the help of Alistair Dunlop, OMII-Europe project manager, Steve Brewer, deputy project manager, and Nishadi De Silva, technical author and dissemination manager).

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/id/89499

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht New software speeds origami structure designs
12.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

nachricht Seeing the next dimension of computer chips
11.10.2017 | Osaka University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>