Kitware News

Climate Data Analysis Team Receives Award & Releases New Project Version

The development team for the project "Ultrascale Visualization Climate Data Analysis Tools (UV-CDAT)" was recently selected as the 2015 recipient of the National Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer's (FLC) Interagency Partnership Award. The selection came shortly after the release of UV-CDAT version 2.1.0.

According to the FLC's website, the award "recognizes the efforts of laboratory employees from at least two different agencies who have collaboratively accomplished outstanding work in the process of transferring a technology." Started in 1974, the FLC assists the U.S. public and private sectors in utilizing technologies developed by federal government research laboratories and is comprised of more than 250 federal government labs and research centers. The team will receive the award—one of the consortium's highest honors—at the 2015 National FLC Awards ceremony, which will take place on April 29, 2015, in Denver, Colorado.

UV-CDAT is a collaboration between government, academic, and private sector organizations including: Kitware, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory, New York University, University of Utah, and Tech-X Corporation. For the project, the team has developed a novel system that enables climate researchers to solve their most complex data analysis and visualization challenges. Version 2.1.0 (v2.1) of UV-CDAT, which was released in January 2015, includes new atmosphere, land, and ocean diagnostics, as well as changes regarding visualization, cdms2/regrid, and cdutil/genutil.

"We are grateful to be a part of such an extensive collaboration," Aashish Chaudhary, Kitware's Principal Investigator for the project and Technical Leader, said. "The work developed through this effort will greatly advance the study of climate science."

UV-CDAT is the first system successfully designed to run unrelated analysis and visualization tools and techniques, while capturing independent workflows and provenance for enhancing reproducibility and repeatability. The system—which is highly collaborative, extensible, and customizable—offers unparalleled capabilities for climate scientists in handling big data analytics, sensitivity analyses, heterogeneous data sources, and multiple disciplinary domains. Such capabilities include parallelism for better efficiency, higher speed, and more accurate scientific inferences.

"As climate science continues to evolve and the complexity of data sets increases, it is vital that we increase our visualization and analysis capabilities," Chaudhary said. "The system developed for UV-CDAT will not only help scientists to better comprehend climate science, but it will also help them to understand how climate change affects us all."

The Interagency Partnership Award is not the first received by the team for UV-CDAT. In 2014, the project received an Outstanding Partnership award from the FLC Far West Region. The award was one of 16 presented at the Joint FLC Far West / Mid-Continent Regional Meeting.

In addition, Chaudhary received an award for the success of UV-CDAT at the 4th Annual Earth System Grid Federation and Ultrascale Visualization Climate Data Analysis Tools Face-To-Face Conference, which was held in Livermore, California, on December 9-11, 2014. Chaudhary was recognized for his contributions to the building, installation, and testing of the UV-CDAT overall product, which, according to the conference report, "went above and beyond expectations." As the report notes, Chaudhary's "implementation and utilization of Kitware projects such as CMake, CTest, CDash, and VTK and his leadership contributed to the successful release of UV-CDAT 2.0 for the community."

"Using open-source technology provides many advantages," Chaudhary said. "It promotes collaboration between organizations, while encouraging participation from the greater scientific community. This allows for innovation and development to be faster and more responsive."

This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-SC0005486.
This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.  Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof.  The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

VTK Secures Third Participation in GSoC

The Visualization Toolkit (VTK) has been accepted as a mentoring organization in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2015. Along with two successful collaborations in 2011 and 2014, this will be VTK’s third time participating in the program.

Kitware is looking forward to another very productive summer working with enthusiastic students on new features that will be integrated into the projects to which Kitware contributes and made available to the wider scientific data processing and visualization community.

Project idea titles for VTK’s participation in GSoC 2015 include “Templated Input Generator for VTK,” “Improvements to Earth and Space Science Visualization,” “CAD Model and Simulation Spline Visualization,” “Shared Memory Parallelism in VTK,” “Supporting Solid Model Geometry in VTK,” “KiwiViewer on VTK,” “OpenFOAM Catalyst adaptor,” “Eulerian Magnification for Revealing Subtle Changes,” “Parallel dataset partitioning,” and “Direct mapped Polyhedral input cells from OpenFOAM.” For more information on these ideas or on submitting ideas of your own, please visit http://vtk.org/Wiki/VTK/GSoC_2015.

In addition to VTK, Kitware’s Joachim Pouderoux will participate in GSoC as a mentor for the CERN SFT project “Interface between Paraview and ROOT.” For details on this project, please visit http://ph-dep-sft.web.cern.ch/article/175948.

Kitware Becomes Member in Federation for ESIP

Kitware is pleased to announce its recent selection as a member partner in the Federation for Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP). The federation announced nine new member partners from across the data lifecycle and spanning government, academic, and private-sector organizations at its Winter Meeting, which was held in January 2015 with the theme "Earth Science and Data in Support of Food Resilience: Climate, Energy, Water Nexus."

The ESIP community voted Aashish Chaudhary, a technical leader on Kitware's Scientific Computing team, to represent Kitware in the federation.

"I am very thankful to the federation for providing this opportunity to Kitware," Chaudhary said. "We are looking forward to collaborating with ESIP community members to push open-source research and development in earth and space science."

According to its website, the ESIP Federation was founded in 1998 by NASA as a community of researchers and groups that build and interpret applications for Earth and environmental science data. The federation aims to make research data and information more accessible to decision and policy makers, as well as to the public.

Kitware Updates Catalyst User's Guide

The Catalyst User's Guide has been updated in version 2.0 for ParaView 4.3.1. The guide details reasons for using Catalyst for in situ processing, and it includes sections targeted to users, developers, and installers to provide them with the information needed to properly use Catalyst.

Major additions to version 2.0 include a section on using ParaVeiw Live to connect the ParaView GUI to a running simulation and a section on reusing simulation memory for arrays when the memory layout does not match that expected by VTK. The guide also contains a list of examples and descriptions that are available to help users in instrumenting codes with Catalyst.   

The Catalyst User’s Guide v2.0 is available as a PDF download on http://www.paraview.org/in-situ/. A print version will also be available this summer on Amazon.

ACME Project Aims to Develop Most Complete Climte & Earth System Model

High-performance computing (HPC) will be used to develop and apply the most complete climate and Earth system model to address the most challenging and demanding climate change issues. This is the charge given by the Department of Energy (DOE) to eight national laboratories, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions, and Kitware.

The Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy, or ACME, project is designed to accelerate the development and application of fully-coupled, state-of-the-art Earth system models for scientific and energy applications that can exploit advanced software and new HPC machines as they become available. A list of participating national laboratories is available on the DOE's Climate and Earth System Modeling website and includes Lawrence Livermore, Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest.

The initial scientific development will focus on three climate change science drivers (water cycle, biochemistry, and cryosphere systems), which cover broad, important areas of science to produce more accurate simulation and prediction of climate change. Questions of interest include: How do the hydrological cycle and water resources interact with the climate system on local to global scales? How do biogeochemical cycles interact with global climate change? How do rapid changes in cryospheric systems interact with the climate system?

"Understanding climate change is critical in today's society," Aashish Chaudhary, Kitware's Principal Investigator for the project and Technical Leader, said. "Using sophisticated HPC resources to further develop state-of-the-art Earth system models will help us answer important water cycle, biogeochemistry, and cryosphere questions to greatly advance climate study."

The DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research awarded $19 million for the first year of the decadal-scale project. Over the 10-year span, simulations and modeling will be conducted on the most sophisticated HPC machines as they become available, i.e., 100-plus petaflop machines and, eventually, exascale supercomputers. The team will initially use Office of Science Leadership Computing Facilities at Oak Ridge and Argonne national laboratories for the project.

For each science driver, a question was selected to be answered in a three-year time range. Further questions will be answered over the course of the 10-year project. Questions to be answered in the next three years include: How will more realistic portrayals of features important to the water cycle (resolution, clouds, aerosols, snowpack, river routing, and land use) affect river flow and associated freshwater supplies at the watershed scale? How do carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles regulate climate system feedback, and how sensitive are these feedback to model structural uncertainty? Could a dynamical instability in the Antarctic Ice Sheet be triggered within the next 40 years?

In regards to the water cycle, ACME's "Project Strategy and Initial Implementation Plan" states that changes in river flow over the last 40 years have been dominated primarily by land management, water management, and climate change associated with aerosol forcing. During the next 40 years, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a business-as-usual scenario will produce changes to river flow.

As the plan states, a goal of ACME is to simulate the changes in the hydrological cycle, with a specific focus on precipitation and surface water in orographically complex regions such as the western United States and the headwaters of the Amazon.

To address biogeochemistry, ACME researchers will examine how more complete treatments of nutrient cycles affect carbon-climate system feedback, with a focus on tropical systems, and investigate the influence of alternative model structures for below-ground reaction networks on global-scale biogeochemistry-climate feedback.

For cyrosphere, the team will examine the near-term risks of initiating the dynamic instability and onset of the collapse of the Antarctic Ice Sheet due to rapid melting by warming waters adjacent to the ice sheet grounding lines.

The experiment would be the first fully-coupled global simulation to include dynamic ice shelf-ocean interactions for addressing the potential instability associated with grounding line dynamics in marine ice sheets around Antarctica.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, under Award Number DE-SC0012356.

This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

Book Spotlight: ITK, CMake, & ParaView

The newest versions of the ITK, ParaView, and CMake books are now available on Amazon!

  • Mastering CMake has been updated for version 3.1
  • The ParaView Guide has been updated for version 4.3 and is available in both color and grayscale
  • The ITK Software Guide has been updated for version 4.7 and is now divided into two books, The ITK Software Guide Book 1: Introduction and Development Guidelines and The ITK Software Guide Book 2: Design and Functionality

For customers in Europe, these books are also available on Amazon's sites for Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy. For more information and for links to order the books, please visit Kitware's website.

Upcoming Events

Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2015
June 7 to June 12, 2015 – Boston, MA

Matt Leotta (Kitware), Sameer Agarwal (Google, Inc.), Frank Dellaert (Georgia Tech), Pierre Moulon (Foxel SA), and Vincent Rabaud (Aldebaran – Softbank Group) will present “Open Source Structure-from-Motion.” This full-day tutorial will take place on June 7, 2015. It will provide a hands-on introduction to using open-source software for solving structure-from-motion (SfM) estimation problems from imagery and video.

For a more detailed description of the tutorial, please visit Kitware's CVPR 2015 page, and for more information on the conference, please visit the conference's website at http://www.pamitc.org/cvpr15/.

GEOINT 2015 Symposium
June 22 to June 25, 2015 – Washington, DC

The symposium will host members of the defense, intelligence, and homeland security communities. It will include keynote speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions.

For more information, please visit the conference's website at http://geoint2015.com/.

Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery (CARS) 2015
June 24 to June 27, 2015 – Barcelona, Spain

The conference will host members of the radiology, surgery, engineering, informatics, and healthcare management communities. It will feature sessions, workshops, and symposia on subjects that relate to advanced medical imaging, image processing and visualization, computer-aided diagnosis, and surgical navigation and robotics, among other topics.

For more information, please visit the conference's website at http://www.cars-int.org/.

Scientific Computing with Python (SciPy) 2015
July 6 to July 12, 2015 – Austin, TX

The SciPy conference will feature mini-symposia, tutorials, Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions, and sprints. Conference themes include Python in Data Science and Quantitative Finance / Computational Social Science.

For more info, please visit the conference's website at http://scipy2015.scipy.org.

2015 OSEHRA Open Source Summit
July 29 to July 31, 2015 – Bethseda, MD

The summit will host hundreds of industry leaders, federal and state government officials, academics, clinicians, developers, and researchers. The focus of the summit will be on development in community-based open source health IT.

For more information, please visit the summit’s website.

Employment Opportunities

Kitware has an immediate need for software developers and researchers who will work on cutting-edge research and join us in our mission to develop and deliver state-of-the-art software products and services. Kitware employees enjoy a collaborative work environment that empowers them to pursue new opportunities and to challenge the status quo through novel ideas. In addition to providing an excellent workplace, Kitware offers comprehensive benefits including: flexible hours; a computer hardware budget; health, vision, dental, and life insurance; short- and long-term disability; visa processing; a generous compensation plan; and free drinks and snacks.

For additional information, please visit our employment website at jobs.kitware.com. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit their resumes and cover letters through our online portal.

Kitware Internships

Kitware internships provide current college students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with leaders in their fields on cutting-edge problems. Our interns assist in developing foundational research and leading-edge technology across five business areas: HPC & visualization, computer vision, medical computing, data and analytics, and quality software process. We not only offer our interns a challenging work environment, but we also provide them with the opportunity to attend advanced software training.

 

Questions or comments are always welcome!