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NPSS on NASA's IPG: Using CORBA and Globus to Coordinate Multidisciplinary Aeroscience ApplicationsWithin NASA's High Performance Computing and Communication (HPCC) program, the NASA Glenn Research Center is developing an environment for the analysis/design of aircraft engines called the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). The vision for NPSS is to create a "numerical test cell" enabling full engine simulations overnight on cost-effective computing platforms. To this end, NPSS integrates multiple disciplines such as aerodynamics, structures, and heat transfer and supports "numerical zooming" between O-dimensional to 1-, 2-, and 3-dimensional component engine codes. In order to facilitate the timely and cost-effective capture of complex physical processes, NPSS uses object-oriented technologies such as C++ objects to encapsulate individual engine components and CORBA ORBs for object communication and deployment across heterogeneous computing platforms. Recently, the HPCC program has initiated a concept called the Information Power Grid (IPG), a virtual computing environment that integrates computers and other resources at different sites. IPG implements a range of Grid services such as resource discovery, scheduling, security, instrumentation, and data access, many of which are provided by the Globus toolkit. IPG facilities have the potential to benefit NPSS considerably. For example, NPSS should in principle be able to use Grid services to discover dynamically and then co-schedule the resources required for a particular engine simulation, rather than relying on manual placement of ORBs as at present. Grid services can also be used to initiate simulation components on parallel computers (MPPs) and to address inter-site security issues that currently hinder the coupling of components across multiple sites. These considerations led NASA Glenn and Globus project personnel to formulate a collaborative project designed to evaluate whether and how benefits such as those just listed can be achieved in practice. This project involves firstly development of the basic techniques required to achieve co-existence of commodity object technologies and Grid technologies; and secondly the evaluation of these techniques in the context of NPSS-oriented challenge problems. The work on basic techniques seeks to understand how "commodity" technologies (CORBA, DCOM, Excel, etc.) can be used in concert with specialized "Grid" technologies (for security, MPP scheduling, etc.). In principle, this coordinated use should be straightforward because of the Globus and IPG philosophy of providing low-level Grid mechanisms that can be used to implement a wide variety of application-level programming models. (Globus technologies have previously been used to implement Grid-enabled message-passing libraries, collaborative environments, and parameter study tools, among others.) Results obtained to date are encouraging: we have successfully demonstrated a CORBA to Globus resource manager gateway that allows the use of CORBA RPCs to control submission and execution of programs on workstations and MPPs; a gateway from the CORBA Trader service to the Grid information service; and a preliminary integration of CORBA and Grid security mechanisms. The two challenge problems that we consider are the following: 1) Desktop-controlled parameter study. Here, an Excel spreadsheet is used to define and control a CFD parameter study, via a CORBA interface to a high throughput broker that runs individual cases on different IPG resources. 2) Aviation safety. Here, about 100 near real time jobs running NPSS need to be submitted, run and data returned in near real time. Evaluation will address such issues as time to port, execution time, potential scalability of simulation, and reliability of resources. The full paper will present the following information: 1. A detailed analysis of the requirements that NPSS applications place on IPG. 2. A description of the techniques used to meet these requirements via the coordinated use of CORBA and Globus. 3. A description of results obtained to date in the first two challenge problems.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lopez, Isaac (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Follen, Gregory J. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Gutierrez, Richard (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Naiman, Cynthia G. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Foster, Ian (Argonne National Lab. IL United States)
Ginsburg, Brian (Argonne National Lab. IL United States)
Larsson, Olle (Argonne National Lab. IL United States)
Martin, Stuart (Argonne National Lab. IL United States)
Tuecke, Steven (Argonne National Lab. IL United States)
Woodford, David (Argonne National Lab. IL United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2000
Subject Category
Computer Programming and Software
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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