HPC-SIG Visualisation Focus Group

A visualisation focus group has been formed within the UK HPC Special Interest Group. If you are interested in this please contact Rob Allan (robert.allan at stfc.ac.uk) or Paul Hatton (p.s.hatton at bham.ac.uk).



Virtual Vellum and Virtual Reality visualisation and representation Mike Meredith WRG Sheffield -

Please find below the details for the forthcoming Virtual Vellum demonstration that will take place on the 12th January 2010 commencing at 1600GMT.

1. 1500 Commence testing of nodes prior to demonstration Using the University of Sheffield Virtual Venue 2. 1600 The session will start 2.1 Introduction, Peter Ainsworth, University of Sheffield 2.2 Demonstration of IBM Deep Computing Visualisation, Paul Hatton, University of Birmingham 2.3 Comments, Discussion, Questions, All 2.4 Demonstration of Virtual Vellum, Mike Meredith/ Peter Ainsworth, University of Sheffield 2.5 Comments, Discussion, Questions, All 2.6 Concluding Remarks, Peter Ainsworth , University of Sheffield

DCV configuration:

Paul Hatton has a modest DCV server running on a laptop at a more reliable address. After downloading and configuring the software described at ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/hattonps/DCV-ClientSide/dcv-client-install.htm point it to with password DCV-demo_12Jan when you should be able to see and interact with a copy of Google Earth running on that machine.

Details for configuring virtual Vellum are as follows:

We will be using Virtual Vellum in its collaborative mode which will hopefully run on all the access grid nodes and connect to a central server that we will host. Virtual Vellum will need a Java Virtual Machine installed on the machine (version 1.5 or above). To make all the collaboration tools work we will need ports 5544 and 8016 open for TCP and UDP both - on the local machine and potentially the campus firewall? A ZIP file is available containing the Virtual Vellum application (vv.jar) and a suitable windows batch file to run it (runsrb.bat). If you wish to test the software, if you unzip both files to the same folder and launch the runsrb.bat file things should start to happen. Hopefully you will be asked for a username and password so if you use [ask Mike below for these if you don't have them] respectively (case sensitive) that should test both VV and the SRB connection (using port 5544). At the moment, that account only has access the "MS 511 Bindings" collection (top-left portion of the window) - see attached screen shot. If you wish to test the collaborative side of things (using port 8016) I would be more than happy to give this a go when it is convenient sometime in the new year.

I am not sure if we are planning to run any of the VR ones for this session, but if we do then they will work in a very similar fashion to VV so if the above works then the VR ones will also work.

Hope this helps and if any further information is required please let me know: Mike Meredith: <m.meredith@sheffield.ac.uk>.

If you have any additional comments or questions then please let me know. Regards and Happy New Year Mike Griffiths


Terms of Reference

The following Terms of Reference outline the objectives of the Focus Group for Visualisation in High Performance Computing.

Not that we aim to avoid overlap with other groups involved in visualisation of scientific data, e.g. experimental data.


We propose forming a Focus Group for Visualisation in High Performance Computing with the following objectives:

  • To share information about the use of visualisation technologies and methods relevant to high performance computing, in particular analysis of large data sets from simulation and modelling;
  • To explore new methodologies, such as collaborative visualisation, virtual reality and computational steering, e.g. in Access Grids and CAVEs;
  • To stimulate enhanced uptake of existing facilities across a range of research domains;
  • To gather and share common requirements stretching the limits of current technology;
  • To seek to establish visualisation as a key technique in computational science with funding streams for future facilities.

The Group will meet from time to time, at intervals to be decided, to exchange information in pursuance of the above objectives. Vendors will be asked to participate where appropriate and demonstrations of relevant technologies will be organised. Vendors may ask for NDAs to be signed where appropriate.


It is assumed that Members will be from academic or commercial organisations operating high performance computing services and with an interest in visualisation of data to add value to those services. Vendors will be invited to participate in our activities to provide information about their products and to discuss common issues and requirements.

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Topic revision: r13 - 12 Jan 2010 - RobAllan
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