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eStep

Developing an eScience technology platform

Image: Martijn van Dam

An important aspect of eScience is the development of new methods and tools to support scientists to enhance the ways they conduct research and to optimize the route to new scientific discovery. The route from data to information to knowledge and insight can and should take optimal advantage of modern ICT facilities and e-infrastructures, but often requires specialist experience. Ideally, researchers should be engaged in their scientific challenges rather than with ICT, however supportive.

The goal of eStep is to develop tools, interfaces, and libraries to deal with and extract information from large amounts of (distributed) data, requiring large computing infrastructures, high-speed networks, and high-resolution visualization equipment. Moreover, in many cases data and results, as well as compute kernels and full scientific workflows, are made sharable among multiple collaborating parties.

Avoiding ‘reinventing the wheel’

As part of our strategy we explicitly try to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ even for domain-specific eScience solutions. To this end, eStep follows a layered and modular approach. At the lowest layer, system-level libraries are developed (or adopted) and integrated, following five themes:

(1) Data

(2) Computing

(3) Networking

(4) Visualization

(5) Other

The low-level libraries specifically aim at hiding the particular idiosyncrasies of accessing, and making optimal use of, the underlying hardware and middleware infrastructures. eStep tools categorized under the ‘Computing’ theme, for example, allow easy access to, and concurrent use of, a large variety of computing resources, thus supporting the Jungle Computing paradigm.

Maximizing software re-use

The highest layer offers generic and domain-specific solutions. Each of the tools at this layer either serve as a complete solution for a domain-specific problem, or as a domain-independent ‘skeleton’ that can be used for various scientific problems with very similar properties. An example skeleton represents a multi-model/multi-kernel simulation environment that applies to both the domains of computational astrophysics and climate modeling, and possibly more. An important aim of the eStep project is to have the high-level tools be built on top of the low-level libraries as much as possible, thus maximizing software re-use.

This page covers three projects, eStep (project nr 27000001), eSTEP 2016 (project nr 27000003) and eSTEP 2017 (project nr 27000004).

Participating organisations

Netherlands eScience Center
SURFnet
SURFsara

Impact

Output

Writing Testable GPU Code

Author(s): Ben van Werkhoven
Published in 2018

SPOT : Visual scientific data analytics made easy

Author(s): Faruk Diblen
Published in 2018

A license to science

Author(s): Lourens Veen
Published in 2017

Free as in Free Market: Or why the GNU General Public License is open for business

Author(s): Lourens Veen
Published in 2017

mcfly: time series classification made easy

Author(s): Dafne van Kuppevelt
Published in 2017
  • 1.
    Computer performance engineering
    Published in 2018

Team

Arnold Kuzniar
Arnold Kuzniar
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Atze van der Ploeg
Atze van der Ploeg
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Ben van Werkhoven
Ben van Werkhoven
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Berend Weel
Berend Weel
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Christiaan Meijer
Christiaan Meijer
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Dafne van Kuppevelt
Dafne van Kuppevelt
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Elena Ranguelova
Elena Ranguelova
Technical Lead
Netherlands eScience Center
ES
Evelien Schat
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Faruk Diblen
Faruk Diblen
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Felipe Zapata
Felipe Zapata
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Jisk Attema
eScience Coordinator
Netherlands eScience Center

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