PATh expands access to a diverse set of high-level computer science research programs

November 4, 2022 — Finding the right path to search results is easier when there is a clear PATH to follow. The Partnership to Advance Throughput Computing (PATh) – a partnership between the OSG Consortium and the Center for High Throughput Computing (CHTC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) – has paved the way for researchers in science and engineering for years with its commitment to advancing distributed high-throughput computing (dHTC) technologies and methods.

A diverse set of domestic and international PATh users benefit from the resource, and the recent launch of the PATh Facility further supports HTC workloads in an effort to advance NSF-funded open science. The colors on the graph correspond to the total number of base hours – nearly 884,000 – used by researchers from participating universities on the PATh Facility hardware located at UC San Diego. [Click to enlarge] Credit: Ben Tolo, SDSC.

HTC involves running a large number of independent computational tasks over long periods of time, ranging from hours and days to weeks or months. dHTC tools take advantage of automation and build on the principles of distributed computing to save researchers working on large assemblies incredible time by harnessing the computational capacity of thousands of computers in a network, a a feat that, with conventional computing, could take years.

PATh recently launched the PATh Facility, an HTC service to manage HTC workloads to support and advance NSF-funded open science. It was announced earlier this year via a letter to dear colleagues published by the NSF and identified a diverse set of eligible research programs spanning 14 scientific areas, including geoinformatics, computational methods in chemistry, cyberinfrastructure, bioinformatics , astronomy, arctic research and more. Through this fiscal year 2022-2023 pilot, the NSF awards credits for access to the PATh facility, and researchers can apply for computing credits associated with their NSF fellowships. There are two ways to request credits: 1) as part of new proposals or 2) with existing rewards via an email request for additional credits to participating Program Agents.

“This is a remarkable program because it covers almost every branch and office of the NSF,” said Frank Würthwein, Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), who is also Executive Director of the OSG Consortium. .

Access to the PATh facility provides researchers with approximately 35,000 modern cores and up to 44 A100 GPUs. Recently, SDSC, located at UC San Diego, added PATh Facility hardware on its Expanse supercomputer for use by researchers with PATh credits. According to SDSC Deputy Director Shawn Strande, “In the first two weeks of operation, we saw researchers from 10 different institutions, including one minority-serving institution, in almost every scientific field. The beauty of the PATh system integration model is that researchers have access to it as soon as the resource is available through OSG. PATh democratizes access by lowering the barriers to research on advanced computing resources. »

As the PATh credit ecosystem continues to grow, any PATh Facility capacity not used for credit will be available to the Open Science Pool (OSPool) for the benefit of all open science under a policy of fair allocation. “For researchers familiar with the OSPool, running HTC workloads on the PATh installation should feel like second nature,” said Christina Koch, research IT facilitator at PATh.

“Like the OSPool, the PATh facility is nationwide, geographically distributed and ideal for HTC workloads. But while OSPool resources belong to a wide range of campuses and organizations that have generously donated their resources to open science, the allocation of PATh facility capacity is managed by the PATh project. himself,” Koch said.

PATh will eventually reach more than six national sites: SDSC at UC San Diego, CHTC at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Holland Computing Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University Computing Research Group of Syracuse, the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the AMPATH Network at Florida International University in Miami.

IPs can contact [email protected] with questions about PATh resources, HTC usage, or estimating credit needs. Further details are also available on the PATh Credit Accounts webpage.

Source: Cynthia Dillon, SDSC

Sherry J. Basler