Georgia Tech College of Computing

From Interactive High Performance Programs to Distributed Laboratories: A Research Agenda

Greg Eisenhauer, Beth Schroeder and Karsten Schwan


Many scientific problems require highly complex and difficult computations. If the individuals who study these problems can interact with the computational tools while the computations are progressing, the analysis of the problem could be much more efficient and effective. This article introduces the potential increases in functionality and performance gained by the online interaction of end users with high performance computational instruments on single and on networked parallel machines (also see [sch96], ). We consider systems in which users interact with computations as if they were physically accessible laboratory instruments and in which entire distributed laboratories are constructed from sets of such computational instruments. Within this context, our intent is to facilitate both online interactions with single computational instruments and interactions among multiple scientists and multiple instruments located at physically distributed sites where scientists may have dissimilar areas of expertise. With our research and with the larger-scale Distributed Laboratories project at the Georgia Institute of Technology, we aim to improve the state of the art of interactive high performance computing for parallel and distributed applications on the variety of heterogeneous platforms now in common use by HPC users and researchers. Particularly, our goal is to develop a general framework for enhancing the interactivity of high performance applications. This framework: In this article we introduce one of the parallel and distributed scientific applications used in our Distributed Laboratory research. We then explore interactions with a single computational instrument during its execution, typically referred to as interactive program steering. Finally we discuss the use of multiple computational instruments by sets of end users, thereby moving from issues addressed in previous work toward interesting topics for future research.


This paper is appear in the Proceedings of the SPDP'96 Workshop on Program Visualization and Instrumentation and is available prior to publication in PostScript form,

Bibtex Entry

  author = 	 "Greg Eisenhauer and Beth Schroeder 
                  and Karsten Schwan",
  title = 	 "From Interactive High Performance Programs 
		  to Distributed Laboratories: A Research Agenda",
  booktitle = "Proceedings of the SPDP'96 Workshop on Program 
		  Visualization and Instrumentation", 
  year = 	 "1996",
  month = 	 "October",

Related Links

The home pages for the Falcon project and the Distributed Laboratories project may also be of interest.
Maintained by:
Greg Eisenhauer
College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology