ISI collaborates in a $10 million NSF-funded initiative on cyberinfrastructure

by Magali Gruet

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The University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI) is partnering with the University of Colorado Boulder – who will lead the effort – the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), the Ohio Supercomputer Center, and the University of Kentucky to reimagine cyberinfrastructure user support services and delivery to keep pace with the evolving needs of academic scientific researchers.

MATCH, or Multi-tier Assistance, Training and Computational Help—is a five-year $10 million NSF-funded initiative and is part of a larger program called Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services and Support (ACCESS). ACCESS is replacing the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), which has been the leading program for NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure for the U.S. for the past eleven years.

According to the NSF, ACCESS “aims to establish a suite of cyberinfrastructure coordination services—meant to support a broad and diverse set of requirements, researchers and modes from all areas of science and engineering research and education—set up as five independently managed yet tightly cooperative service tracks supported by a coordination office.”

MATCH—one of the five ACCESS tracks—is spearheaded by CU Boulder’s Research Computing group. MATCH proposes a new model for cyberinfrastructure (CI) support services that reflects significant changes in the size and composition of the user group community.

“CU Boulder and our MATCH collaborators will lead this groundbreaking effort nationally by leveraging existing tools, interfaces and community experts to assist researchers using NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure to most effectively conduct their research,” said Dr. Shelley Knuth, assistant vice chancellor of Research Computing at CU Boulder and MATCH principal investigator.

MATCH will be animated by three themes:

· Leverage modern information delivery systems and simplify user interfaces to provide cost-effective scaled support to a broader community.

· Leverage experts from the community to develop training materials and instructions that can reduce the user learning curve for an expanding range of systems, applications and computational techniques.

· Employ a matchmaking service that will maintain a database of specialist mentors and student mentees that can be matched with projects that provide the domain-specific expertise needed to leverage ACCESS resources.

The MATCH project will leverage the NSF-funded Pegasus workflow-management system, first conceptualized in 2001 and instrumental in the first detection of a gravitational wave.

Ewa Deelman, research director of scientific computation technologies for ISI, and her team will provide and enhance its Pegasus workflow management system capabilities to enable seamless use of the ACCESS resources. “I am looking forward to providing more automation in support of modern computational science. Pegasus will play an important role in enabling ACCESS MATCH users to focus on their scientific methods rather than on the details of the enabling cyberinfrastructure,” said Deelman.

Published on April 22nd, 2022

Last updated on April 22nd, 2022