Title: High Throughput Computational Science with the Nimrod Toolkit
Speaker: David Abramson, Monash University
Time and date: 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 25
Venue: Room 217, Mechanical Engineering Building
Parametric computational experiments are becoming increasingly important in science and engineering as a means of exploring the behavior of complex systems. For example, an engineer may explore the behaviour of a wing by running a computational model of the airfoil multiple times while varying key parameters such as angle of attack, air speed, etc. The results of these multiple experiments yield a picture of how the wing behaves in different parts of parametric space. Over the past several years, we have developed a specialized parametric modeling system called Nimrod. Nimrod uses a simple declarative parametric modeling language to express a parametric experiment and provides machinery that automates the task of formulating, running, monitoring, and collating the results from the multiple individual experiments. Equally important, Nimrod incorporates a distributed scheduling component that can manage the scheduling of individual experiments to idle computers in a local area network. Together, these features mean that even complex parametric experiments can be defined and run with little programmer effort. In many cases it is possible to establish a new experiment in minutes. In this seminar I will discuss the Nimrod tool family, and illustrate how we have applied it to problems ranging from quantum chemistry to cardiac science.
David Abramson is currently an ARC Professorial Fellow; Professor of Computer Science in the Faculty of Information Technology [www.infotech.monash.edu.au] at Monash University, Australia, and science director of the Monash e-Research Centre. [www.monash.edu.au] He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Academy of Science and Technological Engineering (ATSE), and a member of the IEEE. Abramson’s current interests are in high performance computer systems design and software engineering tools for programming parallel and distributed supercomputers.