Plug and Play Supercomputing

Facilitating software and programming language interoperability, domain-specific common interfaces, and dynamic composability via the Common Component Architecture

David E. Bernholdt (project webpage)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Computational scientists face ever-increasing challenges in creating, managing, and applying simulation software to scientific discovery. These challenges, which arise from the growing complexity of the scientific problems and the rapid advances and increasing diversity in hardware platforms, impact researchers' productivity throughout the life cycle of their scientific software.

Earlier SciDAC investments developed the Common Component Architecture and brought the benefits of component-based software engineering to high-performance scientific software. Scientific teams who have adopted the Common Component Architecture are now realizing the advantages of this extensible environment, which facilitates software interoperability within and across scientific domains, addressing issues in programming language interoperability, domain-specific common interfaces, and dynamic composability. Teams increasingly report that the Common Component Architecture has become integral to the future of their science.

This project will extend the software component methodology, in close collaboration with a number of key application projects, through an interlinked series of activities, leveraging the component environment to develop powerful new capabilities. The activities focus on coupling parallel simulations, supporting emerging hardware and software paradigms for petascale computing, enhancing software quality and robustness, and dynamically adapting applications. The center will continue to enhance the core Common Component Architecture software environment, with emphasis on improving usability, and will build a component ecosystem to provide more off-the-shelf components. Outreach activities include tutorials and other educational activities as well as collaborations with numerous applications, Centers for Enabling Technology, and Institutes.

The next generation of scientific applications will be larger and more complex, and will require contributions from more diverse groups of developers; coupling simulations across multiple time and length scales will become the norm rather than the exception. These simulations will run on more complicated and diverse hardware platforms. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science plans for 100-fold increase in scientific computing capabilities from 2004 to 2007, and full petaflop capabilities for open science by 2009. Systems with ten thousand to one hundred thousand processors are in the process of being deployed. This center will transform component technology from a useful tool for forward-thinking software developers to an indispensable strategy across the entire spectrum of computational science.

Center for Enabling Technology: Computer Science

Project Title: Center for Technology for Advanced Scientific Component Software (TASCS)

Principal Investigator: David E. Bernholdt
Affiliation: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Project Webpage:

Participating Institutions and Co-Investigators:
Argonne National Laboratory - Lois Curfman McInnes, J. Walter Larson, and Boyana Norris
Binghamton University - Madhusudhan Govindaraju, Kenneth Chiu, and Michael Lewis
Indiana University - Randall Bramley
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Gary Kumfert, Tamara L. Dahlgren, and Thomas G. W. Epperly
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Craig Rasmussen
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - David E. Bernholdt (PI), Wael R.Elwasif, and James A. Kohl
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - Jarek Nieplocha, Daniel Chavarría, Manojkumar Krishnan, and Vinod Tipparaju
Sandia National Laboratories - Rob Armstrong, Benjamin A. Allan, Joseph P. Kenny, and Jaideep Ray
Tech-X Corporation - Svetlana Shasharina, Johan Carlsson, and Nanbor Wang
University of Maryland - Alan L. Sussman
University of Utah - Steven G. Parker

Funding Partners: Office of ScienceOffice of Advanced Scientific Computing Research

Budget and Duration: Approximately $3.0 million per year for five years 1

Other SciDAC Enabling Technologies Centers
Other SciDAC computer science efforts

1Subject to acceptable progress review and the availability of appropriated funds


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