November 2011

Helping Scientists Undertake Research

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With an increasing demand of domain specialists, precision scientific instruments and the current global financial situation, it is becoming increasingly challenging for individual research institutes to continue funding scientific projects. It is, therefore, imperative that “laboratories will have to become collaboratories”, conducting experiments, and having access to scientific instruments, datasets, software and hardware tools across the geographical and administrative boundaries.

Thanks to EU-IndiaGrid2, a European Commission 7th Framework project, an environment that virtualizes experiments, data access, data processing and data analysis is now available for European and Indian researchers, providing them access to an array of remote functionalities.

Cyber technology gives an opportunity to pool resources and collaborate with Indians working in different streams of scientific arena, so that the common     man is benefitted” said Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, at the launch of the Indian National Knowledge Network (NKN), at the beginning of  the year. The workshop will explore how the pooling of resources is also possible between India and Europe. Through EU-IndiaGrid2, a bridge now links European grid infrastructures via EGI (The European Grid Infrastructure), and Indian grid infrastructures (namely GARUDA, the national grid in India). This collaboration is facilitated by key national and international networks such as GÉANT (The pan-European Education and Research Network), dedicated to the  research and education community; TEIN3 (The Trans-Eurasia Information Network), the only internet network in the Asian region dedicated to research and education; and the Indian NKN (National Knowledge Network) which connects research and education institutions across India and allows the sharing of High Performance Computing facilities.

Out of diverse scientific applications that EU-IndiaGrid2 aims to sustain, high energy physics, material  science and climate modeling are those where tangible cooperation initiatives have already been set up between India and Europe. Participants will gain insight into showcasing the best examples for the network exploitation for research applications in domains where international collaboration and sharing of e-Infrastructure is valuable.

From Mumbai to Grenoble and return: the remote experiment for collecting crystal X-ray diffraction data

The experiment carried out by the Homi Bhabha National Institute was a great example of an extended grid infrastructure used for scientific purposes and of using fast internet access to carry out remote experiments for protein crystallography studies. The experiment “Remote Data Collection Facility” has been performed at the experimental station on the FIP beam line (French beam line for Investigation of Proteins), which is dedicated to crystallography of biological macromolecules.The FIP beam line is fully automated and has been  enabled for remote access from laboratories in Mumbai. Under an on-going collaboration, Dr. Jean-Luc Ferrer at IBS (Institut de Biologie Structurale) /  ESRF (European Synchotron Radiation Facility), Dr. M.V. Hosur and colleagues  at BARC (Bhaba Atomic Research Centre).

Since the establishment of the  Remote Data Collection Facility, fifteen good quality data sets, each comprising  of 180 oscillation frames, have been collected on protein samples that are part  of the collaboration between Dr. Hosur M. V. at BARC and Dr. Jean-Luc Ferrer  at IBS/ ESRF, Grenoble, France. Recently, data on HIV-1 protease substrate complexes has been collected and the refined map shows a clear density for the ligand molecules in the active site. The diffraction data is stored temporarily on  a local computer at ESRF, before it is transferred to HBNI computer through  FTP. Another advantage of remote data collection is that the younger members  of the laboratory can participate and get trained in using the mega facility such  as the ESRF synchrotron.

When Europe helps India in understanding Monsoon rains

Research into issues  such as monsoon rainfall is now based on simulating models which rely on advanced computing infrastructure (e-Infrastructure) and high-speed  networks. These enable researchers, irrespective of their geographical location,  to make swift and accurate calculations and projections based on  massive data sets.

Cooperation with Europe under the EUIndiaGrid2 umbrella has enabled the Indian national scientific e-Infrastructure to obtain reliable information about  the climate changes on local, regional or global scale. Focusing on Monsoon  simulations, the application is an example of optimal use of resources.  Professor S.K. Dash and his team of researchers from the Centre for  Atmospheric Sciences, IIT Delhi, has completed a series of sensitivity  experiments on Indian summer monsoon Regional Climate Model version 3  (RegCM3) on the Bangalore cluster of GARUDA and has obtained significant results for the Indian Climate Change research.

“There are many universities in India where young scientists are waiting for  using very high amount of data available on Indian climate – explains professor  S.K. Dash, IIT Delhi – despite that, they are often limited in their  research activities because of the lack of computing power available in their  universities. Thanks to the links provided via NKN, our scientists could access  other bigger computing systems both in India and Europe to submit their jobs. IIT Delhi have benefitted a lot from this cooperation established, thanks to  EU-IndiaGrid2 project.”

“IIT DElHI has benefitted a lot from this cooperation establlshed, thanks to EU-INDIA GRID2 project”

Grid Infrastructures also has the potential to help developing countries in     closing the ICT gap empowering a large number of researchers to actively participate in leading edge scientific challenges such as Climate Change.

Running faster towards worldwide challenges: exploiting Euro-India connectivity for the benefit of High Energy Physicians.

High Energy Physics, through the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) programme at CERN, Switzerland, represents a unique science and research facility which is shared between Indiaand Europe in the field of scientific research in general through the  Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) project.

WLCG is the largest grid infrastructure worldwide, created to address the data requirements of the LHC  (15 million GBytes per year). India has established a regional WLCG Gridnetwork with two Tier-2 centres, one at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai for Compact Muon Spectrometer (CMS) and another at VECC/SINP Kolkata for ALICE (A Large Ion Collider  Experiment), plus a number of Tier-3 centres at various Indian universities and  of the Indian Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) aided institutions. The  migration of WLCG connectivity to NKN in India and the establishment of the 2.5 Gbps TEIN3 link interconnected to NKN has provided a substantial burst to  the activity of Indian LHC research community allowing researchers to full  access LHC data, widening their possibilities to contribute to the ambitious physics goals of the LCG program.

At CMS T2 at TIFR almost 10 Billion events have been processed since the  beginning of 2011. More than thousands of terabytes of CMS data has been  retrieved and / or transferred at T2 within the last three months. CMS T2 has  been specially chosen to be part of LHCONE, the LHC Open Network Environment whose aim is to ensure better access to the most important datasets by the worldwide High Energy Physics community through a  collection of access locations that are effectively entry points into the network,   nd hence improve the data analysis.

The HEP community in India (Government labs and Universities) worked hard to set up the CMS and ALICE detector at LHC, CERN and have collected good quality data sets. The results  from the  xperimental run from both CMS and ALICE have yielded excellent publicationsin reputed international journals (CMS community has reached a  count of 100 papers, all in peer-reviewed journals, out of which 75 are from  LHC collision data, 24 from cosmicray runs and one from CMS detector paper).

“Large volume of data (multiple of terabytes) generated from LHC experiments  could be  ransported and distributed easily to all Indian participants through  ow latency, high bandwidth  NKN and TEIN 3 connectivity – explains  P.S. Dhekne from BARC and working at Office of The Principal Scientific Adviser to  Indian Government – Being part of WLCG, both CMS and ALICE Tier II centres  contributed to process power (over 1000 cores) and storage capacity (over  800 Terabytes) and worldwide HEP community could use these resources very effectively. The experience gained in operation and use of this e-infrastructure  has benefited  mmensely, allowing faster adoption of Grid technology and   implementation of many new applications such as Open source drug discovery, Climate Change modelling, and e-classrooms, Cancer Grid, Health Grid etc. in  India”.

About the workshop

The Workshop on Research Applications ofHigh Speed Connectivity Across Europe, India and the Asia-Pacific Area will be organised by EU-IndiaGrid2 in  collaboration with the CHAIN project (www.chain.eu) and will be part of  APAN32 the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network 32nd Meeting, in Delhi.

Addressing researchers, technical experts in ICT, policy makers and  project/Institution leaders, presentations will include use cases highlighting  the benefits of such connectivity in cases of High Energy Physics – data transfer  to and from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN; Protein Crystallography –  remote use by scientists at BARC, Mumbai, of an FIP beamline in Grenoble France.

The workshop will also highlight the potential of India – Europe – Asia  grid collaboration or simulations and realtime classroom  applications. With  the far-reaching potential of Indian – European and Asian grid collaboration including climate change/weather simulations nd realtime classroom  applications, the status and perspectives of NKN-GÉANT connectivity through  EIN3 will also be examined during the workshop.

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