Intelligent Light and FieldView

Custom Engineering Solutions - Aerospace America June 2016

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Libsim Improvements to Enable Better In Situ Workflows

This year’s Department of Energy Computer Graphics Forum meeting in Pacific Grove, CA, brought together leading visualization experts from the DOE and DOD to share their experiences developing state of the art software needed to analyze results from future exascale computers. The meeting consisted mainly of invited talks spanning a broad set of topics, including: advances in display wall technology, vendor libraries that maximize performance using hardware, software updates, realistic rendering and in situ analysis.

In my talk, “Libsim Improvements to Enable Better In Situ Workflows”, I outlined the significant reductions in both data size and time spent processing the data that can be realized by extracting surfaces of interest and saving data to the XDB format. These XDB files can then be read into FieldView or XDBview.

Additional performance benefits of this workflow are gained due to the fact that subsequent post-processing does not involve reading large amounts of volume-based results. The performance benefits are magnified when the workflow is applied in situ because the data extraction can be done while data are in the solver memory as opposed to being done after writing volume data to disk. In situ workflow sidesteps the I/O bottleneck associated with writing (and later reading) large amounts of data since it restricts data to only the features of interest, which are a small subset of the original data.

My talk demonstrated Intelligent Light’s commitment to in situ and highlighted the improvements that we have made to Libsim, the VisIt in situ library, that enable it to scale to over 131K cores using the AVF-LESLIE combustion code on the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. We have made numerous enhancements to Libsim that improve its efficiency and ability to seamlessly accept data from the host solver code. For instance, we made enhancements that permit zero-copy passing of data from the solver to Libsim when data are not organized contiguously in memory. In addition, we eliminated several bottlenecks that affected VisIt’s rendering and scaling performance on the Titan machine. We also streamlined the creation of XDB files by developing a prototype parallel XDB library based on Oak Ridge’s high performance ADIOS framework. Taken together, these improvements to Libsim and VisIt set the stage for even larger in situ runs to come and eliminate many barriers to using in situ and an extract-based workflow.

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Speed Up Production CFD Workflows with Extract-Based Post-Processing

Post-Processing GT Helicopter XDB extract created in situ from CREATE-AV Kestrel courtesy of James Forsythe

LIVE Webinar Thursday May 5, 2016, 2:00 PM ESTWatch the recording now.

Please join Steve Legensky, Founder and General Manager of Intelligent Light, for a live web event "Speed Up Production CFD Workflows with Extract Post-Processing"

This event is designed to help you achieve greater throughput of:

  • Standardized plots and reports
  • Unsteady results
  • Remote HPC computing
  • Large CFD data

​Parallel computing has enabled CFD practitioners to create far more data than can be stored or accessed for post-processing and analysis, making it difficult for engineers and researchers to gain understanding via visualization, exploration and collaboration.

Mr. Legensky will present:

  • Techniques and customer examples that show how extract-based methods have graduated from the research realm to the production environment
  • Our recent success applying in situ techniques to production level workflows that scale from hundreds of cores to over 130,000 cores
  • The new HPC FieldView software that combines the power of open-source VisIt software with the ease-of-use and productivity of FieldView
Steve will answer questions after the presentation in a live Q&A.

Speaker Biography
Steve M. Legensky is the founder and general manager of Intelligent Light, a company that has delivered products and services based on visualization technology since 1984. He attended Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey and received a BE degree in electrical engineering in 1977 and a MS degree in mathematics in 1979. Steve's passion is applying computer graphics and data management to difficult engineering problems. Steve is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and has published and presented for AIAA, IEEE, ACM/SIGGRAPH and IDC.
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Parallel CFD Conference - Extract-based Workflows Enable & Accelerate Large Scale Production CFD

28th International Conference on Parallel Computational Fluid Dynamics, May 9-13, 2016, Kobe, Japan  

Extract-based Workflows to Enable and Accelerate Large Scale Production CFD 
Steve M. Legensky, Founder and General Manager, Intelligent Light

As scalable computing use accelerates, the rate at which data is being generated by CFD simulations exceeds the speed at which it can be written to disk, transferred, post-processed and analyzed. It has become difficult for engineers and researchers to gain understanding via visualization, exploration and collaboration. As a result, design alternatives are not tried, research questions are not asked and simulation complexity is reduced.  The true value of HPC enabled CFD is not realized.

Extracts created in situ present a solution to this otherwise intractable problem by vastly reducing the amount of data that is written, transferred and used for visualization and analysis. In sity methods have been maturing over the years with two open source tools, VisIt/libsim and ParaView/Catalyst becoming ad hoc standards for production-level in situ CFD. However, using these methods at peta-flop and exa-flop scales present the same challenges that most codes face in moving to these extreme scales.

Intelligent Light has been involved in developing and extending VisIt/libsim for in situ and extract-based post-processing and creating a more standardized, high performance infrastructure for in situ integration into solver codes. In this presentation Steve Legensky will provide an overview of the current scaling research utilizing the Georgia Tech AVF-LESLIE reactive flow multiphysics code on large scale systems at DOE's NERSC and the TITAN system at the Oak Ridge Leadership Class Compute facility. On TITAN, over 130,000 cores were used for the solver and integrated in situ processing. 

In addition, benchmark results for production engineering examples in aerospace will be presented.

Speaker Biography
Steve M. Legensky is the founder and general manager of Intelligent Light, a company that has delivered products and services based on visualization technology since 1984. He attended Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey and received a BE degree in electrical engineering in 1977 and a MS degree in mathematics in 1979. Steve's passion is applying computer graphics and data management to difficult engineering problems. Steve is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and has published and presented for AIAA, IEEE, ACM/SIGGRAPH and IDC.
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Seminar: Kobe, Japan - "Speed Up Production CFD Workflows with Extract-Based Post-Processing"

Intelligent Light will hold a seminar in Kobe, Japan, on May 13, 2016, following the ParCFD Conference.

The seminar, "Speed Up Production CFD Workflows with Extract-Based Post-Processing" is designed to help those using standardized plots/reports, unsteady CFD, remote HPC computing or large data to achieve greater throughput. During the seminar, Intelligent Light will introduce our new HPC FieldView software that combines the power of open-source VisIt software with the ease-of-use and productivity of FieldView.

This seminar will be held from 9:30 to 12:30 at the FOCUS facility conveniently located near the ParCFD 2016 event and the K-computer and is accessible by public transport on the same line as the Kobe International Airport and the Kobe International Conference Center.

Parallel computing has enabled CFD practitioners to create far more data than can be stored or accessed for post-processing and analysis, making it difficult for engineers and researchers to gain understanding via visualization, exploration and collaboration.

Mr. Steve M. Legensky, Founder and General Manager of Intelligent Light, will present techniques and customer examples that show how extract-based methods have graduated from the research realm to the production environment. Steve will showcase our recent success applying file based and in situ techniques to production level workflows that scale from hundreds of cores to over 130,000 cores.

If you are interested in participating, want more information about the seminar or HPC FieldView, simply send an email to sww@ilight.com.  We will be happy to provide details and answer your questions.

There is no charge for participation, but be sure to reply soon as space is limited.

We look forward to seeing you in Kobe.

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