Extended Collaborative Support Service (ECSS)
Ruby Mendenhall, an associate professor of sociology, African American studies and urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is leading a collaboration of social scientists, humanities scholars and digital researchers to harness the power of high-performance computing to find and understand the historical experiences of black women by searching two massive databases of written works from the 18th through 20th centuries. With the help of XSEDE ECSS staff at several XSEDE member institutions, her team also is developing a common toolbox that can help other digital humanities projects.
Soybean Knowledge Base (SoyKB) project finds and shares comprehensive genetic and genomic soybean data through use of high performance computing. SoyKB helps scientists improve soybean traits, resulting in better yields for farmers and better value for consumers. XSEDE Stampede supercomputer 370,000 core hour allocation used in massive resequencing of over 1,000 soybean germplasm lines. XSEDE ECSS established Pegasus workflow that optimized SoyKB for supercomputers. SoyKB migrated workflow to XSEDE Wrangler data intensive supercomputer. Scientific cloud environment Jetstream of XSEDE broadened user base.
Thanks to PSC Blacklight's shared-memory, the Data Supercell's ability to store and move huge amounts of data and XSEDE ECSS staffer Phil Blood of PSC, a Weil Cornell Medical College team has spearheaded the first repository of the active genes in 13 nonhuman primates. The effort gives genetic researchers in humanity's closest relatives a common set of tools, enabled by Blood's adapting the popular Trinity software for RNA sequencing to the HPC environment.
One of the largest areas within the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) is its Extended Collaborative Support Service, or ECSS. This service provides expert staff to assist research teams for either a short or an extended period using large-scale computing resources to advance the team's work. Researchers can receive help in areas such as code optimization, optimizing complex workflows, porting to new system architectures, and using accelerators such as GPUs, all at no cost to their grants.
David Maidment at The University of Texas at Austin developed the National Flood Interoperability Experiment (NFIE) — a project to develop a transformational suite of science and services for national flood hydrology and emergency response. Through XSEDE's ECSS program, the researchers not only received an allocation on Stampede, but support from TACC research associate, Si Liu. With this support, the researchers improved the national stream flow simulation model from 10 hours to 3.5 seconds in predicting floods. Maidment and other researchers presented NFIE at the first-ever White House Water Summit in March 2016.
Through XSEDE's Extended Collaborative Support Service (ECSS) program, users have access to cyberinfrastructure experts with a variety of expertise. ECSS experts, many with advanced degrees in domain areas, are available for collaborations lasting months to a year to help researchers fundamentally advance their use of XSEDE resources.
Expertise is available over a wide range of areas:
- performance analysis,
- petascale optimization,
- efficient use of accelerators,
- I/O optimization,
- data analytics
- use of XSEDE by science gateways,
ECSS can be requested along with compute and storage resources through the XSEDE allocation process. ECSS requests can also be added to existing allocations as supplements. For sample requests, visit the ECSS justification page.
Current ECSS projects can be found on the ECSS Project Page and more detailed video presentations on recent projects can be found on the ECSS Symposium site. For further information or to speak with someone about ECSS, contact the XSEDE Help Desk.
Last update: January 14, 2016