SCIENCE & ENGINEERING NEWS
Houston, TEXAS — As the availability of reliable high-speed networking increases, geographical proximity becomes less important in collaborations. From July 18 to 21, at the International Grid (iGRID) 2000 special event at INET 2000 in Yokohama, Japan, researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and the University of Houston showcased the power of current research networks using a new computational steering code. GEMSviz, a tool used for the study of electromagnetic compatibility in the design of complex objects, allows researchers access to remote computing resources and enhances collaboration among distant colleagues.
GEMSviz ( http://www.pdc.kth.se/projects/GEMSviz ) demonstrates the grid’s potential in designing complex objects in which electromagnetism plays a major role. Electromagnetic compatibility is important in the design of aircraft and in critical components of the wireless communications industry, and it is becoming increasingly important in automotive design.
The application has far-reaching possibilities for collaborative research and design, in both academic and commercial environments. According to the project’s main designer, Erik Engquist, “GEMSviz enables Grid-connected computational resources at remote locations to be used in conjunction with visualization equipment at possibly multiple locations for collaborative design and computational steering. Significant compute resources are needed to get to a level of scientifically interesting results in electromagetics research, and this tool stitches together computation and simulation programs. This makes it possible to spread the workload of computation and simulation.”
GEMSviz is a collaborative development of two units of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden: Parallelldatorcentrum (PDC) and Parallel Scientific Computing Institute (PSCI). The demonstration in Yokohama used IBM SP equipment at PDC and also at the Texas Center for Computation and Information Sciences at the University of Houston; an ImmersaDesk and CAVE at the INET 2000 site; and the NORDUnet, Abilene, and APAN networks connected through STAR TAP.
“A great advantage of having many connected distributed resources is the flexibility it offers designers,” says Bjˆrn Engquist, the leader of the GEMS development. “This is not simulation software, but rather it is a glimpse into the power of the Grid – the use of several powerful computational resources by several researchers, regardless of location.”
“The availability of high-speed global backbone networks and wide deployment of broadband networks – and also the emergence of software for Grid computation, visualization, and collaboration – offers great opportunities for advanced design,” remarks Lennart Johnsson, leader of high-speed network development and applications at the University of Houston.
GEMSviz builds on the General ElectroMagnetic Solver program package, the Visualization ToolKit, SGI IRIS Performer and pfCAVE, CAVERNsoft and the Globus toolkit. The project’s collaborators are Erik Engquist, Per ÷ster and Bjˆrn Engquist at PDC and PSCI, and Johnsson at TCCIS.