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InTheLoop | 04.26.2010

April 26, 2010

ESnet Reaches First Milestone in Advanced Network Initiative

In March of this year, ESnet completed the first milestone in constructing its Advanced Network Initiative (ANI) testbed by installing Infinera’s dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) equipment. DWDM refers to optical networking systems that can send large volumes of data over multiple wavelengths of light on a single fiber. Funded by $62 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), the ANI testbed will be a community resource for scientists, technologists, and industry to conduct network, middleware, and application research and development. Read more.

Gregory Bell Joins ESnet as Chief Information Strategist

Gregory Bell has joined ESnet as chief information strategist. In this newly formed position, Bell will integrate emerging technologies into the ESnet infrastructure, work with team members to develop guidance on complex IT issues, and drive collaboration across the organization in support of a shared vision. Bell comes to ESnet from Berkeley Lab’s IT Division, where he served as chief technology architect reporting to the CIO. Read more.

Hank Childs to Present Paper on Multi-Core Volume Rendering

Hank Childs will give a presentation at EGPGV, the Eurographics Symposium on Parallel Graphics and Visualization, May 2–3 in Norrköping, Sweden. The paper, “MPI-Hybrid Parallelism for Volume Rendering on Large, Multi-Core Systems,” was written by Mark Howison, Wes Bethel, and Childs.

No Parking at Oakland Scientific Facility During Construction

Starting Wednesday, April 28, the Oakland Scientific Facility (OSF) parking lot will be closed for car parking due to construction. The construction, which will add 3 MW of power and additional cooling to the computer room, should be completed in September. Motorcycle parking will still be available in the roofless shed near the parking gate.

Anyone who parks eight days or more per month can obtain a monthly Kaiser Center parking garage cardkey from Norma Early or Suzanne Stevenson. In addition, a very limited number of single-day parking vouchers are available. We are trying to obtain more, but the Kaiser Center garage is out of stock for now. It is expected that hourly parking tickets for another garage will be available later this week. Check with Norma, Suzanne, or Howard Walter for updates.

Two-Week Extension to iWAPT Call for Papers

The Fifth International Workshop on Automatic Performance Tuning (iWAPT 2010) has extended the paper submission due date to May 5. The conference will be held June 22, 2010, at UC Berkeley.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: performance modeling, adaptive algorithms, numerical algorithms and libraries, scientific applications, parallel and distributed computing, computing with GPGPU and accelerators, database management systems, numerical precision and stability, resource restrictions (real-time, memory etc.), low-power computing, empirical compilation, automatically tuned code generation, frameworks and theories of automatic tuning and software optimization, autonomic computing and context-aware computing, and position papers (2 pages). A position paper could include your thoughts on future auto-tuning features you consider important, drawbacks of current application tuning techniques or tools, or constructive suggestions how to improve state-of-the-art application tuning methods.

Jonathan Carter of NERSC is chair of the iWAPT 2010 Organizing Committee. Osni Marques of CRD and John Shalf of NERSC are on the Program Committee.

SGI User Group to Meet in Fremont May 10–12

The 8th annual SGI User Group (SGIUG) Conference will be held in Fremont, California, May 10-12, 2010. This year’s event features tutorials, technical presentations, workshops, and presentations by SGI executives and engineers. Early-bird registration is available until April 30. Go here for more information.

This Week’s Computing Sciences Seminars

Sparse Optimization with Least-Squares Constraints: LAPACK Seminar
Wednesday, April 28, 11:10 am-12 pm, 380 Soda Hall, UC Berkeley
Ewout van den Berg, Stanford University

The use of l1 regularization in optimization to obtain sparse solutions has become common practice over the past few years. Its success has motivated the introduction of a variety of other types of regularization, each suitable for a particular type of sparsity. However, despite all theoretical advances, there are still only a very few specialized codes that can successfully deal with the large-scale problem instances arising in practice.

In this talk we present an algorithm that can efficiently solve large-scale instances of a variety of sparse recovery problems, including l1, sign-constrained l1, and joint-sparse recovery. We explore possible generalizations, and discuss how the algorithm applies to the more recent problems of matrix completion and robust principal component analysis. Finally, we compare the performance of our algorithm to existing solvers.

This is joint work with Michael Friedlander, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Printed Energy Storage Devices for Micro-Power Supplies
Friday, April 30, 12:00–1:00 pm, 250 Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley
Broadcast live on-line at mms://media.citris.berkeley.edu/webcast
Christine Ho, UC Berkeley

As electronic devices become smaller in volume and more specialized in functionality, a paradigm shift in energy storage design and manufacture is beginning to emerge and can be realized with the development of simple, low-cost, solutions-based processing methods to incorporate custom energy buffers directly onto a device. I will discuss the motivations and implications of this paradigm shift and how this affects the rules for comprehensive device design especially for miniature (< 1 cm3), low power applications. We have been developing the materials and direct write fabrication methods for printing carbon based electrochemical capacitors and zinc batteries directly onto a substrate. Our materials efforts include the optimization of mechanical and ionic transport properties of ionic liquid gel electrolytes, and this has enabled the fabrication of completely printable “solid-state” capacitors and batteries, mitigating manufacturing and packaging concerns. Through a pneumatic dispenser printing system, the energy storage devices can be patterned and integrated directly on-chip. Comprehensive device characterization, including long-term cycling performance and rate behavior will also be presented.

Adaptive Networks and Bio-Inspired Cognition
Friday, April 30, 3:00-4:00 pm, 400 Cory Hall (Hughes Room), UC Berkeley
Ali Sayed, UCLA

Adaptive networks consist of spatially distributed agents that are linked together through a connection topology. The topology may vary with time and the agents may also move. The agents cooperate with each other through local interactions and by means of in-network processing. The diffusion of information across the network results in various forms of self-organizing behavior and collective intelligence. A key property of adaptive networks is that all agents behave in an isotropic manner and are assumed to have similar abilities. This kind of behavior is common in many socio-economic and life and biological networks where no single agent is in command.

Adaptive networks are well-suited to perform decentralized information processing and decentralized inference tasks. They are also well-suited to model self-organizing behavior such as animal flocking and swarming. This talk describes research results on distributed processing over adaptive networks and illustrates the techniques by studying self-organization in biological networks such as bird formations, fish schooling, bee swarming, and bacteria motility.

Link of the Week: Triumph of the Cyborg Composer

UC Santa Cruz emeritus professor David Cope is ready to introduce computer software that creates original, modern music. Why are people so angry about that? Ryan Blitstein examines the controversy in “Triumph of the Cyborg Composer” in Miller-McCune magazine.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 6,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.