March 2008
Urgent Computing: Exploring Supercomputing's New Role
Gabrielle Allen, Center for Computation & Technology and Department of Computer Science, Louisiana State University
Philip Bogden, Department of Physics, Louisiana State University
Tevfik Kosar
Archit Kulshrestha
Gayathri Namala
Sirish Tummala, Center for Computation & Technology and Department of Computer Science, Louisiana State University
Edward Seidel, Center for Computation & Technology and Department of Physics, Louisiana State University


We have described an initial prototype for implementing urgent workflows for predicting the impacts of hurricanes, which include a new priority-aware scheduler, SPRUCE, for token-based authorization and carefully thought out policies on local resources. Despite the promise of this early work, there are many issues to research and resolve in the domain of urgent computing:

  • Procedures for describing, negotiating and guaranteeing different levels of quality of service for urgent computing (e.g., run immediately, run within six hours, next to run, etc).
  • Economic models for sites, potentially around the world, to be compensated for providing their resources in an on-demand mode to those using urgent computing. Such an economic model for urgently available resources would then require scientists and authorities to in turn take into account economic cost when designing model suites and balance this against the potential risk.
  • Policies and approaches for competing urgent scenarios, at the simplest level dealing with multiple concurrent hurricanes, but also handling for example modeling a Category 5 hurricane in Louisiana at the same time as a forest fire approaching Los Angeles in California.
  • The configurations for model ensembles used today are still relatively static, and instead should be dynamically constructed to adapt to both the resource cost and availability and the physical situation (for example, a larger suite of models may be appropriate for a Category 5 hurricane than a Category 1 hurricane, or for a situation where a large number of ensembles are needed to provide appropriate confidence in results).
Acknowledgements The SCOOP project is a large collaborative effort involving many organizations and researchers to build a cyberinfrastructure, and we would like to acknowledge their many contributions to the work described in this article. This work was funded by the Office of Naval Research (Award N00014-04-1-0721), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s NOAA Ocean Service (Award NA04NOS4730254) and the NSF DynaCode project (Award 0540374). SCOOP acknowledges computational resources provided by SURAgrid, LONI and TeraGrid.
1SURA Coastal Ocean Observing Program (SCOOP) - scoop.sura.org/
2Bogden, P. S., Gale, T., Allen, G., MacLaren, J., Almes, G., Creager, G., Bintz, J., Wright, L. D., Graber, H., Williams, N., Graves, S., Conover, H., Galluppi, K., Luettich, R., Perrie, W., Toulany, B., Sheng, Y. P., Davis, J. R., Wang, H., Forrest, D. "Architecture of a community infrastructure for predicting and analyzing coastal inundation," Marine Technology Society Journal, 41, No 1: 53-71, 2007.
3Allen, G. "Building a Dynamic Data Driven Application System for Hurricane Forecasting," Proceedings of ICCS 2007m, Y. Shi et al. (Eds.): ICCS 2007, Part I, LNCS 4487, pp. 1034-1041, 2007.
4Wave Watch 3 (WW3) - polar.ncep.noaa.gov/waves/wavewatch/wavewatch.html,
Wave Model (WAM) - www.fnmoc.navy.mil/PUBLIC/WAM/wamdet.html,
Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) - www.wldelft.nl/soft/swan/,
ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) model - www.adcirc.org,
ELCIRC - www.ccalmr.ogi.edu/CORIE/modeling/elcirc/,
CH3D - users.coastal.ufl.edu/~pete/CH3D/ch3d.html.
5MacLaren, J., Allen, J., Dekate, C., Huang, D., Hutanu, A., Zhang C. "Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Archive in a Hostile World," In Proceedings of the The Second International Workshop on Grid Computing and its Application to Data Analysis (GADA’05), Agia Napa, Cyprus, 2005. Springer Verlag.
6Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI) - www.loni.org/,
NSF TeraGrid - www.teragrid.org/,
Southeastern Universities Research Association Grid (SURAgrid) - suragrid.sura.org/
7SPRUCE: Special PRiority and Urgent Computing Environment - spruce.teragrid.org/

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Reference this article
Allen, G., Bogden, P., Kosar, T., Kulshrestha, A., Namala, G., Tummala, S., Seidel, E. "Cyberinfrastructure for Coastal Hazard Prediction," CTWatch Quarterly, Volume 4, Number 1, March 2008. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2008/03/cyberinfrastructure-for-coastal-hazard-prediction/

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