Archive for the ‘Press News’ Category

Demoing the Instrument Element

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Distributed Applications, such as Service Oriented Architectures, are more and more becoming a collection of huge quantity of heterogeneous software. This software needs to be installed, configured and maintained.
In an ideal situation, machines that have to cooperate together should retrieve information about the environment and adjust their functionality according to their needs, without trigger any human interaction.

Different possibilities have been explored to cope with this problem in diverse scenarios in which machines and Instruments are deployed. This kind of demand becomes even more crucial in those cases characterized by a huge number of sensors/probes involving a highly dynamic change in their distribution and inter-connections.
Peer to peer has been proposed as a possible approach for covering the aforementioned need. With this solution different instruments can discover information by the others and cooperate to optimize the overall system performances and/or repair possible system faults.
This video presents a simple and intuitive demonstration of self-configuration and self-optimization properties in a set of Instruments. Here you have the possibility to see the system deployment and to trigger a re-configuration by adding a new Instrument.
The map of this video shows several different markers, each representing one or more instruments spread about the entire world.
Different colours stand for different types of Instruments: adding a new marker on the map, that means to join your machine, as a new Instrument, into the Instrument Network, is as easy as clicking a “Join!” button.

In the Demo you will see the following actions:
1) Server that hosts a geo-location of existing devices is displayed
2) A sensor application is started in a local machine using javaWeb start.
3) The Map is automatically updated with the location and the information of the new node.
4) The sensor is de-instantiated and it disappear from the map.
5) The basic GUI of the core machine that maintains the information of the index is displayed
6) Different ways of showing the information acquired from the sensors are displayed

More information:

jARC: Accessing the ARC Middleware from Java.

Monday, June 21st, 2010

We just release the first version of jARC a java library that will allow the access to the grid from Java.

2 different ways to deal with the low level communications have been provided in order to support an access from a machine where the ARC-User Interface is not installed. This is he case of a remote user interface and he APIs support an SSH connection with the machine where the ARC command line interface runs in order to read/write strings into the wire and performs file transfers (using SCP).

Grid security is supported via an automatic regeneration of the user certificate and is optional. In other words, if you can assume that the machine where the User Interface is running support has a valid proxy installed the security become optional and can be turned off.

The key class is that Abstract the usual job submission functionalities and gives a “method oriented” way to interact with ARC.

Example are: killjob, renewCertificates, submitjob etc etc.

In the release an example of usage is provided. And you can have the following information:

1) Validate the configuration,

2) Connect to the remote user interface,

3) Upload few files into the remote machine

4) Submit a job,

5) Wait (monitor the status of the job)

6) Retrieve the results from the grid

7) Move the results from the remote machine to the machine where the jARC is running

For more details you can refer to:

Swiss Grid School 2010

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The Swiss Grid School 2010 (SGS’10) is organized by the Swiss National Grid (SwiNG) association. Created in October 2007, SwiNG promotes Grid computing in several scientific and industry-related domains (physics, chemistry, life science, engineering, finance, computer science, etc.). One of SwiNG’s objectives is to run education and outreach activities. In this context, SGS’10 aims at transferring Grid knowledge to academia, research and industry. The following audience is particularly addressed:

  • Graduate students (master, Ph.D. level)
  • IT Department/services
  • Practitioners and researchers from industry, academia and government organizations interested in further advancing the use or the development of Grid technologies.

SGS’10 provides lectures and practical lab sessions that illustrate the current state-of-the-art in Grid computing in the following domains: Grid architecture, security and middleware, resource management, data management and scientific workflow management. It also focuses on a variety of practical case studies (applications).

Enabling Domain-Specific End-User Programming for Smart Devices

Friday, March 26th, 2010

I am happy to inform you that today (actually yesterday AU time…) Prof. Mehdi Jazayeri give an interesting talk related to instruments and the growing need of deal with devices that are quite complex and need to be programmed by lay persons.  Our Instrument Element project, together with the WEUP project, has been used for validating part of the claims of the talk.

Below you can find title and abstract of the talk and bio of the speaker:

Title: Enabling Domain-Specific End-User Programming for Smart Devices

Abstract: The rapid spread of computers and other smart devices means that an increasingly large population is faced with using such devices. In many situations, some users either have to, or simply want to, make modifications to the behavior of their devices. In the extreme, some of these users want to program their devices. Considering that some of these devices are quite complex, programming them by lay persons is a challenging task. To address this challenge, we have devised a software architecture called ULD that decomposes the problem into three distinct layers: the User, the Language, and the Domain layers. The domain layer abstracts the functionality of the domain in which the device is deployed; the language layer presents a programming language specific to the domain; the user layer offers a visual environment to the end-user for programming applications for the domain. The creation of each layer requires different kinds of expertise: domain expertise, programming language expertise, and application expertise. The ULD architecture enables people with these different kinds of expertise to collaborate and combine their work. We also attempt to automate the creation of the language layer as much as possible. Our work draws on early work on end-user programming and on later work on domain-specific architectures and languages.

We believe that this work has application in a wide range of areas including smart devices, instruments, smart home devices, and Web 2.0 communities. We have implemented the architecture in a prototype demonstration with Lego Mindstorms robots.

About the speaker: Mehdi Jazayeri is professor of computer science and founding dean of the Faculty of Informatics at the University of Lugano since October 2004. Before that he was a professor and head of the Distributed Systems Group at the Technical University of Vienna (1994-2004). He worked at several startup companies in Silicon Valley before joining Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto for ten years (1984-94). He began his career as an assistant professor at the Computer Science Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1975-1980). Mehdi Jazayeri is an IEEE Fellow and was program co-chair of ICSE 2000 and program chair of ESEC-FSE 1997, the two premier international software engineering conferences.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN Just Started

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The Large Hadron Collider just started its first official beam. This is an historical event for the high-energy physics community and for the entire world. The LHC was built in the last decade to enable new generation of physics experiments. Last but not least, in order to analyze all the scientific data that are going to be produced the LHC Grid computing infrastructure was created.

We are wishing Good Luck to our Big Brother: the “big” Instrument Element! Witch it has been used as Run Control of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at LHC. The tiny Instrument Element Project (i.e. this project) has started as a simplification of our big brother! If you want to know more in this paper about Integration between instruments and grid is described how the “big” Instrument Element has been developed. While if you have some interest in building your own CMS experiment you may look at the suggested link.

Instrument Element Project Launched!

Monday, August 4th, 2008

The aim of the project is to create a tool for the integration between devices (such as sensor and probe) into the classical computation infrastructure like Cloud and Grid computing.  Moreover it is providing WEB APIs for controlling and monitoring a generic device. The present release is focused on Web Services using Axis1.4 but different technologies will be explored (REST, Axis2 etc etc).

This project is started as a simplification of part of the code that has been developed for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Experiment that is going to operate at CERN next month.  

For more information you can visit the project home page: