A CODAR Conversation: Mueller and Xu Discuss Latest DOE-Funded Research


This past November, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $35 million in grant money to new software development proposals around the country. An additional $12 million was also awarded to four co-design center proposals. Brookhaven National Laboratory, which Stony Brook University helps to operate, has been chosen to lead one of these software development projects, entitled “CODAR”. CODAR researchers will focus on developing a programming model for exascale computing applications, which are computing systems that function up to 50 times faster than most modern supercomputers.

Professor Klaus Mueller and Research Assistant Professor Wei Xu from the Department of Computer Science have the great opportunity to be a part of the CODAR team. In a recent interview they discuss their newest research endeavor:

Q: How is CODAR different from other exascale computer systems?

A: CODAR is one of the four co-design centers awarded by DOE's exascale computing project (ECP). It stands for Co-Design Center for Online Data Analysis and Reduction at the Exascale. The ECP is responsible for the planning, execution, and delivery of the technologies that are required to effectively design and run the exascale systems of the future. CODAR is focused on developing and implementing services to analyze and reduce the computed data online before they are written to disk for possible further offline analysis.

Q: What are your roles in the project?

A: We will devise a set of advanced visual analytics tools to evaluate and steer the data reduction and analysis process.

Q: Where did the idea for CODAR originate? How did you get involved?

A: We have partners from Argonne (project lead), Oak Ridge and Brookhaven National Laboratories as well as Brown and Rutgers universities. Many team members are partners on ECP application and software projects. This will give us many opportunities to co-design and develop the services to analyze and reduce data online by working side by side with the scientists.

Q: Can you explain about the groups that you are collaborating with - what information or research do they bring to CODAR?

A: The group we are closely collaborating with is the Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). As members of this BNL group, we will focus on the development of new machine learning solutions for data reduction and analysis, developing a set of new visual tools for multi-process performance measurements and devising a new interactive visual analytics framework that will enable scientist to steer the reduction and analysis process.

Q: Is this a new area of research for Stony Brook University?

A: Yes. ECP is part of (former) President Obama's National Strategic Computing Initiative with a timeframe until the mid-2020s. It will involve cutting-edge research and development on developing an exascale ecosystem integrating hardware, software, architectures, algorithms and applications. We are very excited to be part of this massive effort of national importance.

Prof. Klaus Mueller and Research Prof. Wei Xu ​​

Professor Klaus Mueller and Research Assistant Professor Wei Xu