SCIENCE & ENGINEERING
Ithaca, NY — Living creatures have the intelligence to adapt to changing environmental conditions, thereby improving the efficiency of their activities and enhancing their chances of survival. This kind of intelligence is lacking in current software systems which cannot adapt to changes in resource requirements of applications or to changes in their computational environment such as processor and communication-link failure. Therefore, their efficiency and survivability may be far less than desirable.
The Adaptive Software Project, a $5 million project funded under the Information Technology Research (ITR) initiative of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and announced by NSF, will address these problems by developing principles and tools for building adaptive software and by implementing test-beds for complex computational field simulations to show-case the technology.
The project will be carried out jointly by Cornell University, the Mississippi State University, the College of William and Mary, Ohio State University, and Clark-Atlanta University. Cornell team members include Paul Chew, Keshav Pingali, Paul Stodghill, and Steve Vavasis (Department of Computer Science), Tony Ingraffea (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering), Tomas Arias, and James Sethna (Department of Physics), and Gerd Heber and Chris Myers (Cornell Theory Center).
“In nature, the rule is adapt or die,” said Keshav Pingali, Principal Investigator for the project. “Giving software the ability to adapt like a living organism is a very challenging problem since it requires exploiting information from the application level all the way down to the systems level. A first-rate inter-disciplinary team is essential.”
The interdisciplinary team working on the project includes computer scientists, engineers, and physicists. They are planning to build two high-performance computation test-beds to show-case their work: one for computational fracture simulation and another for reactive multi-phase flows.
The fracture simulation test-bed will be implemented at the Cornell Theory Center’s Computational Materials Institute (CMI) under the leadership of Professor Tony Ingraffea. The CMI is world-renowned for its work on fracture simulation, and in the past three years alone, has won a Grand Challenge award ($1.8 million), a Research Infrastructure award ($1.5 million), and a Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence award ($1.8 million) from the National Science Foundation.
The reactive multi-phase test-bed will be built under the leadership of Professor Bharat Soni at the Engineering Research Center (ERC) located at the Mississippi State University. The MSU ERC is widely recognized for its pioneering work in 3-dimensional structured mesh generation and visualization.
“This ITR award demonstrates once again the innovative research being done in CTC’s Computational Materials Institute,” said CTC director Thomas F. Coleman. The multi-institutional team will use CTC’s computational resources – including the Velocity and Velocity+ clusters – throughout the project, he noted.
CTC is a high-performance computing and interdisciplinary research center located at Cornell University. CTC receives funding from Cornell University, New York State, a number of federal agencies, and Corporate Program members.