Programme Programme


11:00 Getting citizen scientists on your team 

Presenter: Ad Emmen - AlmereGrid & IDGF-SP project

When you are working with EGI chances are you are working on a team of scientists. Perhaps you are working together with a dozen other scientists, perhaps even a hundred, or maybe you are working on one of those experiments with a few thousands other scientists. Did you know however, you could enlarge your team with thousands of new scientists? Citizen scientists as they are called could help you with their computing time and add vast resources to your infrastructure. More importantly, perhaps, they learn about your research and they can explain it to other citizens. But they can also teach you, by performing important work and by asking questions. This presentation will walk you through the possibilities and pitfalls when you want to work together with citizen scientists. It will also tell you about the help available through organisations already collaborating in this way and that are member of the International Desktop Grid Federation.

This presentation will start with an overview of some successes of citizen scientists that took part in scientific research and have got their contributions acknowledged. However also the hundreds of thousands of other citizens that contributed their unused computing time to science feel good about their participation. Getting them involved and keeping them involved requires communicating the objectives of the research and the results with them. This is the basic lesson of getting citizen scientists involved. There are, however, more things to take into account and we will also share that in this presentation. For instance in the IDGF-SP project we are looking at organizing very active citizens into an ambassador network. This would be an opportunity for (traditional) scientists to get in touch with these ambassadors. We will also, briefly, describe the International Desktop Grid Federation and how members of that organisation can help closing the gap between scientists and citizens. There is also a guide "Desktop Grids for eScience - A Roadmap" available with some background information.

Focusing on the citizen scientist aspect of volunteer Desktop Grid computing, participants will get a better understanding of what motivates citizens to contribute their unused computing capacity to science. It also wil increase understanding of what can and needs to be done by scientists to involve more citizens in their team.


11:20 Support for researchers and infrastructure operators available through IDGF 

Presenter: Rober Lovas - MTA SZTAKI

Desktop Grids (DGs), aggregating the otherwise unused computing power of large numbers of computers from volunteers and campus-wide, form a fast growing segment of the European Distributed Computing Infrastructure (DCI) for science in Europe. The number of donated computers by volunteers was above 700.000 in the FP7 DEGISCO supported infrastructure, and gLite-based Grid centers of Desktop Grid VO donated already more than 1 Million CPU hours per month for the scientific user communities of supported DGs. The FP7 EDGI project successfully developed further the necessary bridging technologies, and interoperation with clouds as well; this combined DCI and its technology have been demonstrated and available for the EGI community. In both projects the number of trained developers as well as ported applications increased significantly. The presentation will summarize the latest progress, plans, and achievements of the recently launched IDGF-SP project; focusing on the support activities.

The main aims of the FP7 IDGF-SP project launched in November 2012 with 2 year duration are the following:

  • Involve and engage in long-term significantly more citizens and new communities in the volunteer and private (campus-wide or enterprise) Distributed Computing Infrastructures by supporting the rapid creation, efficient operation, and dynamic expansion of this type of DCIs for e-Science.
  • Coordinate and synchronise the dissemination and support activities of major European stakeholders of volunteer and Desktop Grids with focus on the International Desktop Grid Federation. Since mid 2010, the International Desktop Grid Federation (IDGF) is a focal point for discussions about and experience exchange of Desktop Grid computing and related technologies. Today IDGF has about 50 organisational members and about 200 persons as members. The Federation offers several services for its members including (among others):
    • Meetings, workshops and conferences
    • Training sessions and tutorials
    • Technical expert support in operation Desktop Grids and programming for Desktop Grids
    • Technical expert support in connecting Desktop Grids with other Grids, Clouds and other distributed computing infrastructures
    • Web portal and information centre
    • Certification services

The presentation shows the latest success stories from the IDGF members --e.g. from Russian Federation--, the operated user-oriented services (science gateways, application repositories, operated bridges, desktop grid virtual organization), the source of knowledge for infrastructure operators, application developers, and end-users, etc.

Based on the support services of the IDGF-SP project, e-scientists can access to and utilize much more (volunteer and private local) computational capacities than before. This extra capacity may lead to a better quality of the scientific research performed by the scientists belonging to the EGI scientific communities. Moreover, it may improve sustainability, reduce operational costs, increase public awareness from the infrastructure operators or scientists' point of view.


11:40 EGI compliant access of volunteer Desktop Grid resources offered by IDGF-SP 

Presenter: Zoltan Farkas - MTA SZTAKI

Desktop Grids, aggregating the otherwise unused computing power of large numbers of Desktop computers from volunteers (globally) and campus-wide (locally), form a fast growing segment of the European Distributed Computing Infrastructure (DCI) for science in Europe. As a result of the EDGI EU-funded FP7 project, new technologies have been developed to support the easy access and efficient utilization of volunteer and private resources of the emerging Desktop Grid systems. The IDGF-SP EU funded project - as a continuation of EDGI and DEGISCO - provide numerous tools and mechanisms: submission, monitoring, accounting, virtualization, application tuning, etc. for EGI scientific groups to seamlessly access volunteer resources of Desktop Grids handled by the IDGF-SP project and the IDGF organization. The presentation will give an overview of the latest results, technologies and tools of the IDGF-SP infrastructure offered for the EGI users.

Scientists need a lot of computing power. This is organized as local PC's, clusters, Grids, supercomputers that can be financed in a number of ways. However, for many applications, Desktop Grids already provide large computational resources comparable in size to the largest Grid infrastructures in Europe. Public desktop grids can and do contribute a significant amount of resources for science. EDGI has developed a middleware that consolidated the results achieved in the EDGeS project concerning the extension of Service Grids (gLite, ARC, Unicore) with Desktop Grids (DGs) in order to support EGI and National Grid Initiative user communities that are heavy users of Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs) and require an extremely large number of CPUs and cores. At the same time DEGISCO has collected more than 20 Desktop Grids and has successfully worked out several manuals like comprehensive Guides for Grid operators, best practices in application porting and in infrastructure operation and a roadmap with recommendations on linking desktop grids to Grids (such as EGI) and to Clouds. Based on the results of the former two desktop-grid projects, IDGF-SP is offering a comprehensive knowledge relating to Desktop Grids in various areas like utilization, deployment, maintenance, public outreach and so on. This presentation will focus particularly on the new technologies offered for the scientific users. Based on the new technologies and tools an introduction will be given on how to submit jobs to Desktop Grids, how to monitor jobs of a DG through the EGI system and how to avoid application porting (which was a painful task before) by utilizing the virtualisation tool of IDGF-SP. The presentation will also show examples on how scientists already managed to utilize the power of Desktop Grids with help of the IDGF-SP.

Based on the tools and technologies of the IDGF-SP project, e-scientist can access to and utilize much more (volunteer and private) computational capacity than before. This extra capacity may lead to a better quality of the scientific research performed by the scientists belonging to the EGI scientific communities. Moreover, it may improve sustainability, reduce operational costs, increase public awareness, etc.