GRDI2020 Envisions New Science Paradigms

By Nicole Hemsoth

September 22, 2011

This week at the EGI Technology Forum in Lyon France, leaders from around Europe gathered to discuss the creation of sustainable, broad-reaching research objectives that would address existing user communities, encourage new ones to develop, and find ways to leverage the influx of data to increase scientific discovery and European competitiveness.

Among the many elements on the agenda for the week, the GRDI2020 Vision was the topic of a great deal of conversation. This effort proposes a ten-year plan to create global research infrastructures that can address the needs of data-intensive scientific projects while remaining sustainable. While this was announced last year, the EGI Technical Forum was the locale for a more comprehensive roadmap as Europe looks ahead to 2020.

The roadmap that was presented this week laid out Europe’s vision for a global research data infrastructure that can be the “enabler of an open, extensible and evolvable digital science ecosystem. This will be maintained and created through advances in grid and cloud computing via the use of science gateways (community-specific sets of tools, application and data collections that can be accessed via a portal or application suite) and virtual research environments (VREs). VREs will be the technological framework behind virtual working environments and communities that collaborate via cloud or grid-based portals.

By creating these environments that take advantage of distributed resources, hardware, software and knowledge-wise, GRDI2020 hopes to create an “interoperable science ecosystem” that will reduce data fragmentation and speed access and use of data stores.

This, of course, involves a great deal of coordination of every layer of the technical and scientific community in Europe. From those providing tools and support to create and maintain the grid or cloud-based ecosystem to those governing—and all researchers in between.

The group sees a large number of challenges, however. Issues like international collaboration, laws and policies at odds certainly tops the list, but other problems, including the technical challenges of creating interoperable tools, authentication layers, data movement issues, and more general aspects of distributed computing are present as well.

Despite the practical concerns that could limit progress, GRDI2020 sees cloud computing as one of the leading forces in the march toward their goals. The group claims that they “envision that the future Digital Data Libraries (Science Data Centers) will be based on cloud philosophy and technology” with each community having its own cloud. This is where federation (an issue that EGI lead Steven Newhouse discussed at length this week) comes into play. By federating these clouds, GRDI2020 can approach the vision with increased collaboration to enable multidisciplinary research.

At the heart of this anticipation of the era of data-intensive scientific computing are a number of concerns that the organization hopes to address, including the need to build realistic, scalable research infrastructures to support data-intensive research. This is a program that the European Commission is backing, and that many attendees at the EGI Technology Forum seemed to feel was a critical first step in advancing European research.

As part of these far-reaching efforts, GRDI2020 seeks to spend the next decade creating “a framework for obtaining technological, organizational and policy recommendations guiding the development of ecosystems of global research data infrastructures.” This means leveraging existing user communities, experts, leaders behind large projects and policy makers to help lead to this vision of sustainable global research systems.

The experts behind this initiative say that Europe has entered the “new science paradigm” in which many areas of research are facing a hundred, if not a thousand-fold increase in the amount of data they contend with compared to just ten years ago. This is due to an explosion in the number of sensors and scientific instruments, not to mention the fact that storing the data gathered is now far more affordable than it was ten years ago.

Officials from the GRDI2020 project say “this data deluge can revolutionize the way research is carried out and lead to the emergence of a new fourth paradigm of science based on data-intensive computing.” They say that this new era will lead to a “data-centric” way of thinking about research and solving problems—but that there is a severe lack of infrastructure available to support these opportunities.

GRDI2020’s vision of research data infrastructures requires a great deal of cross-disciplinary collaboration. They define this new way of thinking about infrastructure in the following categories:

•    Tools and services that support the whole research cycle
•    The movement of scientific data across scientific disciplines (which was an issue that was addressed in detail by the representatives who spoke about GlobusEUROPE and GlobusOnline)
•    The creation of open linked data spaces by connecting data sets from diverse disciplines
•    The management of scientific workflows
•    The interoperation between scientific data and literature
•    The development of an integrated science policy framework.

This week nearly every session addressed one or more of these issues—but the actual GDRI statement on the vision for 2020 broke down these generalities—and shed light on progress toward goals.

The efforts from GRDI2020 might serve as ample motivation to other localized areas to create similar policies. For instance, this type of federated vision could easily extend to multiple universities sharing individual disciplinary clouds that are gathered under one roof. However, if there was one thing that became clear this week, it’s that Europe has its act together, organizationally speaking. By creating research infrastructures that filter down from a policy hierarchy and extend into hundreds of sub-branches, there is cohesion—an essential element of any distributed computing or resource-sharing effort.

The GRDI2020 program is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, which designed to boost Europe’s competitiveness through key technology and research investments. It combines all of the research-driven initiatives in the EU together under one organization, spitting the focus between four areas, including cooperation, ideas, people and capacities. As one can imagine this creates a rather complex set of hierarchies under each classification, leading to a wide range of activities that receive funding and support from the program.

To put the work of GRDI2020 in context and see how they are enabling researchers to have better access to needed tools and infrastructure, a good example is below. While data from fisheries might not be every scientist’s cup of tea, his challenges are similar to those in nearly every discipline—needing to contend with massive data sets in a way that promotes quick access, collaboration and thorough host of tools to manage and solve problems.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together about 30 participants from industry, government and academia t Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Researchers Scale COSMO Climate Code to 4888 GPUs on Piz Daint

October 17, 2017

Effective global climate simulation, sorely needed to anticipate and cope with global warming, has long been computationally challenging. Two of the major obstacles are the needed resolution and prolonged time to compute Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Transforming Genomic Analytics with HPC-Accelerated Insights

Advancements in the field of genomics are revolutionizing our understanding of human biology, rapidly accelerating the discovery and treatment of genetic diseases, and dramatically improving human health. Read more…

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Cluster Competition coverage has come to its natural home: H Read more…

By Dan Olds

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together ab Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Read more…

By Dan Olds

Intel Delivers 17-Qubit Quantum Chip to European Research Partner

October 10, 2017

On Tuesday, Intel delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip to research partner QuTech, the quantum research institute of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The announcement marks a major milestone in the 10-year, $50-million collaborative relationship with TU Delft and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to accelerate advancements in quantum computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fujitsu Tapped to Build 37-Petaflops ABCI System for AIST

October 10, 2017

Fujitsu announced today it will build the long-planned AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) which is set to become the fastest supercomputer system in Japan Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Intel Debuts Programmable Acceleration Card

October 5, 2017

With a view toward supporting complex, data-intensive applications, such as AI inference, video streaming analytics, database acceleration and genomics, Intel i Read more…

By Doug Black

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Deeplearn.js to Further Democratize Machine Learning

August 17, 2017

Spreading the use of machine learning tools is one of the goals of Google’s PAIR (People + AI Research) initiative, which was introduced in early July. Last w Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate's ClusterStor HPC storage array business for an undisclosed sum. "In short we're effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray," said CEO Peter Ungaro. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Software Tools to Ease FPGA Programming

September 5, 2017

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have a reputation for being difficult to program, requiring expertise in specialty languages, like Verilog or VHDL. Easin Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Advances Web-based Quantum Programming

September 5, 2017

IBM Research is pairing its Jupyter-based Data Science Experience notebook environment with its cloud-based quantum computer, IBM Q, in hopes of encouraging a new class of entrepreneurial user to solve intractable problems that even exceed the capabilities of the best AI systems. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This