Computational & Technology Resources
an online resource for computational,
engineering & technology publications
PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIFTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING COMPUTATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping, G. Montero and R. Montenegro
Parametric Studies on the InteliGrid Platform
M. Dolenc1, J. Zevnik1 and K. Kurowski2
1University of Ljubljana, FGG, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Science, Poznan, Poland
M. Dolenc, J. Zevnik, K. Kurowski, "Parametric Studies on the InteliGrid Platform", in B.H.V. Topping, G. Montero, R. Montenegro, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Engineering Computational Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 124, 2006. doi:10.4203/ccp.84.124
Keywords: parametric studies, high through computing, grid technology, performance-based earthquake engineering, incremental dynamic analysis, civil engineering, InteliGrid.
In science and engineering general parametric studies are of high importance. They usually consist of a number of repetitive, independent calculations that are therefore easily parallelised. Scientists and engineers involved in this type of work need a computing environment that delivers large amounts of computational power over a long period of time. Such an environment is called a High-Throughput Computing (HTC) environment. In contrast, High-Performance Computing (HPC) environments deliver a tremendous amount of power over a short period of time.
InteliGrid - Interoperability of Virtual Organisations on Complex Semantic Grid (http://www.InteliGrid.com)  a European 6th Framework Information Society project (2004-2007) aims to provide complex industries such as construction, automotive and aerospace stable, co-allocated, reliable, unified, adaptive, remote, ambient accessible, interoperable, pay-per-demand access to: (1) information, (2) communication and (3) processing infrastructure and thereby provide the integration and interoperability infrastructure. As one of the important requirements for the InteliGrid platform the ability to perform complex parametric studies was recognized by the end-users. To support end-users requirements on HTC environment the InteliGrid platform provides and integrates numerous computing resources and services deployed on the InteliGrid testbed (http://testbed.inteligrid.com).
The main service supporting HTC environment on the InteliGrid platform is the Condor  batch queuing system that manages compute-intensive jobs. It provides traditional queuing and scheduling functionality to efficiently harnesses and makes the best use of all available resources while providing high throughput for jobs. In a typical usage scenario, a user submits a job to Condor, which queues and monitors the job, then presents the results when the job completes. Batch systems providing this functionality historically use dedicated machines owned by a single organisation. Condor operates in this type of environment, but can also effectively manage non-dedicated resources by taking advantage of spare cycles when those resources are idle.
To demonstrate the InteliGrid platform an application exploiting the InteliGrid HTC environment was developed and deployed on the InteliGrid testbed. The application enables structural engineers to perform parametric analyses following the Incremental Dynamic Analysis (IDA)  method to estimate more thoroughly structural performance under seismic loads. It involves subjecting a structural model to one (or more) ground motion records, each scaled to multiple levels of intensity, thus producing one (or more) curves of response parameterised versus intensity level. A graphical user interfaces (GUI) portled was developed based on the open source GridSphere  portled framework that enables web based execution and control of IDA parametric studies.
To illustrate the benefits of using high-throughput computing environment for performing parametric studies an example IDA analysis of a bridge was performed. The same analysis was performed five times using a different number of available computing resources. Figure 1 summarises calculation times for performing the analyses and clearly shows the benefits of using HTC environment with available computing resources.
The paper introduces the InteliGrid platform and explores the high-throughput computing environment provided by computing resources and services integrated and demonstrated on the InteliGrid testbed. It also provides a detailed description of the demonstrated IDA parametric studies and its execution on the InteliGrid testbed.
purchase the full-text of this paper (price £20)