Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

disCERNing Data Analysis

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the making-more-sense-of-things dept.

Linux 82

technodummy writes: "Wired is reporting how CERN is driving the Linux-based, EU funded, DataGRID project. And no, they say, it's nothing like Seti@Home. The description on the site of the project is: ' The objective is to enable next generation scientific exploration which requires intensive computation and analysis of shared large-scale databases, from hundreds of TeraBytes to PetaBytes, across widely distributed scientific communities.'" If you're interested in this, check out the Fermi Lab work with LinuxNetworkX data as well as the all-powerful Google search on the Fermi Collider Linux project. As jamie points out, "Colliders produce *amazing* amounts of data in *amazingly* short time periods... on the order of "here's a gigabyte, you have 10 milliseconds to pull whatever's valuable out of it before the next gigabyte arrives".

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596034)

why yes it is!

props to netbsd

Here is a "Bite Me!" (-1, Troll)

Prodigous_Erection (536018) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596098)

You have 10 milliseconds to pull my dick before the next "Bite Me!" arrives!

Re:Here is a "Bite Me!" (-1)

Sunken Kursk (518450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596176)

Actually, I do believe he has 2 minutes.

Technology transfer (2, Funny)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596053)

And when this stuff becomes comodity hardware, Quake can have a Real Quantum Effects Railgun(tm)!

Re:Technology transfer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596075)

You can have a Beowolf cluster of them.

Anyone know (-1, Offtopic)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596055)

What's up with Bubba [kuro5hin.org] ?

Re:Anyone know (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596140)

Don't know, been unreachable all day (UK time).

Re:Anyone know (1)

theantix (466036) | more than 12 years ago | (#2598360)

I miss it too. I've got a really fucking huge diary entry though.

fifth post (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596058)

data analysis is gay

Try to Filter this, Assholes!! (-1, Troll)

Faulty Dreamer (259659) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596063)

|.- - - -- - - -.|
| |
| Eat My Nuts |
| |
| _ _ _ _ __ _ |
' - -- . . - - - '
| _|/
| ." ".
| /(o)-(o)\
/_)| / |
|_)| '- |
\_)\ '.___.' / |\/|_
| \ \_/ / _| '/
|_\ \.___./ \ ) /
\ \_/\__/\__ ==|
\ \ /\ /\ `\ |
\ \\// \ |
`\ /\ / |
; | \____/
| | |

Re:Try to Filter this, Assholes!! (-1, Troll)

I Have a Hard (538104) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596145)


Keep up the good work.
Your efforts are appreciated.

please please please let me get what I want (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596157)

Dude, you fucking RULE!

When can I slowly fuck you in the ass?

Obligatory Type 13 Planet Comment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596066)

a pea i tells ya! the size of a pea!

tri-delt got felt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596076)

from the article:
As jamie points out, "Colliders produce *amazing* amounts of data in *amazingly* short time periods... on the order of "here's a gigabyte, you have 10 milliseconds to pull whatever's valuable out of it before the next gigabyte arrives".

Doe this not sound like the last sorority (after)party you went to?

EU funding (2, Flamebait)

reachinmark (536719) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596080)

It's good to see that this EU funded project isn't wasting precious money on things like website design. We can't have people getting past the first page and actually joining in on the project now can we!

Has anyone actually seen an IT related EU project that achieved something? The company I work for has been involved in two EU project proposals so far, and nothing came of either of them -- though they both consumed a large ammount of resources from universities to get through the three failed applications each.

Re:EU funding (5, Informative)

san (6716) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596172)

The WWW, developed at CERN by Tim Berners-Lee springs to mind..

Re:EU funding (5, Informative)

pubjames (468013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596195)

Has anyone actually seen an IT related EU project that achieved something?

Government funded work, in the EU, US and internationally, actually drive changes in the IT industry a lot more than most people realise (or perhaps would care to admit).

For christssakes, the web itself came out of a CERN project! Also many other web standards originated in EU funded projects, for instance JPEG and MPEG. So, the most common formats on the web for text (HTML), images (JPEG), and video (MPEG), all owe something to funding from the EU.

And of course the Internet itself comes from US government funded projects. Even commonly used business process have resulted from government funded work (project management methodologies).

Both Americans and Europeans like to bitch about the inefficies of their governments, but the fact of the matter is that if you look at the history of IT, more fundamental innovations come from government funded work than from industry. Of course Bill Gates, Larry Ellison etc. don't want you to think that, but that's the way it is.

Re:EU funding (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596256)

Both Americans and Europeans like to bitch about the inefficies of their governments, but the fact of the matter is that if you look at the history of IT, more fundamental innovations come from government funded work than from industry. Of course Bill Gates, Larry Ellison etc. don't want you to think that, but that's the way it is.



Government funded work isn't that same as government work.

Re:EU funding (1)

linca (314351) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596381)

Government funded work isn't that same as government work.

?????

government work is work done by employees of the government. government funded work is work done by people the government is giving money to. pretty close in ;y line of work. Also considering that in Europe, most reseachers are paid directly by the government, as employees, unlike in America

And you forget... (0)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596288)

MP3...created by the Fraunhofer Institut, and yes, that is Germany. Thus european, but I don't know if it was Government funded.

Re:And you forget... (2, Informative)

vrt3 (62368) | more than 12 years ago | (#2597294)

Actually MP3 is a part of MPEG: MP3 is short for "MPEG Audio Layer 3". More info at this page [iis.fhg.de] of the Fraunhofer institute. And yes, I believe it was government funded (but I'm not sure).

Re:And you forget... (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2598015)

It makes me curious...how can an organization patent for itself a process produced with government funds?

Re:EU funding (3, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596311)

Has anyone actually seen an IT related EU project that achieved something? The company I work for has been involved in two EU project proposals so far, and nothing came of either of them -- though they both consumed a large ammount of resources from universities to get through the three failed applications each.

Perhaps you are expecting the wrong results.

I have been involved in a couple of large EU funded projects, and have spoken to the project managers about the aims and motives of the projects.

One principal point is that just because a new successful product/standard/format whatever does not arise from a project, does not mean that it has been a failure.

The EU is made up of lots of different countries with lots of different types of people speaking different languages and with different working mentalities. This is a major competitive disadvantage for us compared to a country like the US. If a company in San Francisco wants to work with a company in New York, there aren't many barriers to them doing that. In the EU, there are lots of barriers. One of the main aims of EU funded projects (and the EU in general) is to break down these barriers by getting different companies and universities working together across the EU. If new technologies come our of these projects, so much the better, but that's not necessarily the principal aim.

Re:EU funding (0)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596373)

If a company in San Francisco wants to work with a company in New York, there aren't many barriers to them doing that.

Oh, come on! You know very well that those Califorinians are thinking of surfing and "california babes" the whole day! They don't work, but driver around in their VW minibusses with their surfboard packed on it.

New Yorkers on the other hand are constantly jabbering with their stockbrokers over their cellphones and yelling at cabs.

I would call those "barriers"! I thought *everybody* knew that!

Re:EU funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2599028)

Has anyone actually seen an IT related EU project that achieved something?

The GSM cellphone network.

The World Wide Web

shear quantity of data (3, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596086)

This first reaction I have is that I wonder if a distributed model of computing would even be able to make a dent if the amount of data is that big.

Does anyone have a idea on how much data Seti at home has processed? This would certainly be useful as a yard stick of sorts.

Re:shear quantity of data (2, Informative)

ajcpi (201360) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596434)

332,321,524 results (on average, 98.27 results per user)

Chunks of data are perhaps 0.5 MB

Re:shear quantity of data (2, Informative)

ajcpi (201360) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596455)

Actually, perhaps this is more useful, (from the Seti Site)
[berkeley.edu]
http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/totals.html

Total
Users 3383619 1872
Results received 399604453
Total CPU time 799230.603 years
Floating Point
Operations 1.142642e+21 (29.64 TeraFLOPs/sec)
Average CPU time
per work unit 17 hr 31 min 13.7 sec

Re:shear quantity of data (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2598038)

At .5MB per chunk, that amounts to about 1.61 TB

Yow!

ZettaFlop processed by SETI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2599058)

In August Berkeley posted on their website that they had reached the ZettaFLOP (10 to 21st power floating-point operations) mark - a world record!

A SETI workunit is 330-360K of data and needs 3.5 to 4 Billion FLOPs. I average 8 hours per WU in the background on my PIII@733.

Is SETI a complete waste of time ? Maybe, but if we never look we will never know if anything is there. My own inspiration comes from the "Vimmin" flying cars that the Vedas described 30,000 years ago.

distributed computing (5, Interesting)

sam@caveman.org (13833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596095)

here's a gigabyte, you have 10 milliseconds to pull whatever's valuable out of it before the next gigabyte arrives.

let's see. 1 GB in 10 ms works out to 100 GB per second. how recently did GB ethernet come about? and what would the average bandwidth of users be? i would guess much less, but let us assume 100KB per second.

so you have 107374182400 bytes of data per second. your users can take 102400 bytes per second each. even if everyone was connected directly to your network (no delays or bottlenecks... ha!) you would still require 1048576 users (that is over 1 million).

and this is not taking into effect sending any data BACK to the source or actual computation time on the users.

-sam

Re:distributed computing (5, Informative)

fiziko (97143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596151)

The data figure stated above is at the actual data collection stage, not the anlysis stage, so it's not being transmitted via ethernet. The project I'm working on (ATLAS, which should be running on the LHC when it gets built in the next few years) has actually found that magnetic media cannot keep up with the data rate, so they had to figure out another means of storing the data while they were sorting it between particle bursts. They decided on a switched capacitor array, since that can keep up. The data actually goes through (IIRC) three stages of analysis before it's finally approved and recorded indefinitely. This filtered data is the stuff that will be transmitted via the Grid.

Re:distributed computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596265)

Here is a diagram of the ATLAS project's network topology [nih.gov] .

Re:distributed computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2598247)

Cool... thanks, it really helped.

Re:distributed computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2598283)

this is complete BS. magnetic media can be any speed. just use multiple recorders working in parallel with a memory buffer. bits go into buffer, buffer throws them out to all the tape drives. sure the buffer has to be damn fast, and you probably have to have a hell of a lot of tape drives, but given enough money, i'm sure it can be done.

Re:distributed computing (2)

fiziko (97143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2600089)

Complete BS, huh? Have you read the papers you can find here [ualberta.ca] , here [ualberta.ca] , and other places not on the first page of results on a Google search. Maybe I should have mentioned that speed wasn't the only concern, but it was the prime concern. In any event, I've got evidence to back up what I said. You?

Re:distributed computing (3, Informative)

PSC (107496) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596690)

let's see. 1 GB in 10 ms works out to 100 GB per second. how recently did GB ethernet come about? and what would the average bandwidth of users be? i would guess much less, but let us assume 100KB per second.

Well 100 GB per second is the raw data rate, as read out (heavily parallel) from the detector, i.e. the data rate the DAQ (Data AQuisition) system has to keep up with. That's pretty difficult really, but done completely in hardware: the readout chips have relatively large on-chip buffers for each read-out channel. NOST OF THIS DATA IS DISCARDED RIGHT AWAY from the so-called Level 1 Trigger, whose purpose is to throw away the most obviously uninteresting collisions.

Since the data rate after L1 is still WAY too large to be all stored, another trigger, unimaginatively called Level 2 Trigger, sorts out even more crap. Since the data rate is lower than for L1, L2 can use more sophisticated algorithms to figure out which event is crap and which is an ever-famous Higgs [web.cern.ch] decay :-)

One more trigger, Level 3 (you guessed it), is used to even further reduce the amount of data, again with more sophisticated means.

Still, the required bandwidth is quite impressive. At CDF II [fnal.gov] , the data rate after Level 3 will be about 75 events per second, at half a meg each, summing up to 30-40 MB per second (well enough to saturate Gbit ethernet), which are all reconstructed [uni-karlsruhe.de] right away.Note that for the LHC [web.cern.ch] experiments (CMS, ATLAS) the amount of data is more than an order of magnitude larger than for CDF and D0 (at Fermilab [fnal.gov] ).

The LHC data will be spread all over the world, using a multi-tier architecture with CERN being Tier 0, and national computing centers as Tier 1 centers, universities being Tier 2, etc. No national computing center will be able to store ALL data, so the idea is that e.g. your Higgs search will be conducted on the U.S. Tier 1 center, B physics on the German Tier 1 center and so on. Obviously not only US scientists will search for the Higgs, so others will also submit analysis jobs on the US Tier 1 and vice versa. To get this working, the GRID [gridcomputing.org] is designed. A current implementation is GLOBUS [globus.org] .

Having said this, it is important to note that right now, the GRID is nowhere near this goal. To submit jobs in this "fire and forget" way is not possible yet. There is a shitload of problems to yet solve, the most important ones: trust and horsepower.

Trust: you must allow complete strangers to utilize your multi-million dollar cluster, and they haven't even signed a term-of-use form.

Horsepower: everybody expects to get more CPU cycles out of the GRID than he/she contributes. Obviously, this will not work. (Albeit the load levveling might improve the overall performance.)

Re:distributed computing (0)

nr (27070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2597373)

>Trust: you must allow complete strangers to utilize your multi-million dollar cluster, and they haven't even signed a term-of-use form.

You still have to submit for access to each cluster or resource you want to have access to right? The cluster owners knows what projects and what people who have access and can submit jobs. There will be CAs that garants X.509 certificates which provides "single signon" for access to all resources on the GRID.
>Horsepower: everybody expects to get more CPU cycles out of the GRID than he/she contributes. Obviously, this will not work. (Albeit the load levveling might improve the overall performance.)

I dont think many clusters are used for 100% 24/7 365 days per year. This means there are alots of holes then you could let others run jobs to make use of the otherwise wasted computing power.

I'm *amazed* (-1)

Sunken Kursk (518450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596096)

that *Linux* is the *only* operating *system* that will *be* able to h*an*dle this task.

***Slas*hdot - News for *Linux Advocates,* Stuff about the GPL.

Here's how you do it... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596110)

Daisy-chain 10^400 Timex Sinclair computers. Make sure you buy the preassembled kind cause otherwise it would take too long to set up.

Storage to the rescue (2, Insightful)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596135)

"here's a gigabyte, you have 10 milliseconds to pull whatever's valuable out of it before the next gigabyte arrives".

...or just write it all as it comes in and analyze it later. That's how most other science takes place. Since when is scientific analysis "real-time?"

In general, the scientific process does not require conclusions during an experiment. I think CERN should cite a different reason for this project, there are many valid ones.

Re:Storage to the rescue (3, Informative)

fiziko (97143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596175)

That data rate doesn't apply to the analysis stage. Magnetic media can't keep up with the data as it comes in, so it has to be sifted through in a first pass to eliminate the boring cases. (These would be the times two particles passed each other in the detector without colliding, and things like that.) Most of the analysis is done later on. (In fact, the analysis I'm doing today is on data collected in August 2000.)

Re:Storage to the rescue (4, Informative)

jamie (78724) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596183)

BTW, don't hold me to those exact numbers, Hemos copy'n'pasted something I just typed into IRC without reflecting on it too much :)

The problem is that there's way too much data to write to any storage medium to analyze later. The bandwidth makes hard drives look like tiny, tiny straws. When they throw the switch and the protons or whatever start smacking into each other, they get many collisions in a row, several every millisecond, maybe dozens every millisecond (depending on collider circumference I imagine). The huge array of detectors around the collision point stream out big chunks of data for each collision. The first line of defense is a network of computers that get handed each collision, or parts of it broken down, in round-robin order or something. Their job is to sift through X megabytes very quickly to decide whether there's anything "interesting" in this collision that warrants being remembered. If no flags go up, the data just gets dropped on the floor.

The datagrid described in the article is, as far as I can tell, set up to process data after that "first line of defense" -- even after dropping the majority of the bits on the floor, there is still a prodigious amount that has to be sifted through, just to check that the Higgs didn't leave a track or something. That's a different sort of engineering project.

My point was just that, yes, the amount of data involved here really is amazingly large.

Re:Storage to the rescue (-1, Troll)

Sunken Kursk (518450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596268)

BTW, don't hold me to those exact numbers, Hemos copy'n'pasted something I just typed into IRC without reflecting on it too much :)

Alert the media!!! Someone on Slashdot spouted off some information half-cocked as though he were the world's premiere expert on the topic!!! I do believe this is a first.

I was there! (3, Funny)

GroovBird (209391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596460)

I can see it already.


*** jamie(~who@gives.a.fl.us [mailto] ) joined #slashdot
<CmdrTaco> lookin' for cyber msg me
<Hem0s> Hey jamie
* KatzAWAY is now away [logger:on]
<jamie> hey hemos
<Hem0s> whazzup?
<jamie> oh got this gr8 link here but got no access to the backend right now. can u help me out?
<Hem0s> sure thing.. what you got?
<CmdrTaco> jamie a/s/l?
<jamie> i found this link about this grid computing whatsimagigger and i just thought it's cool ... u know linux and all
<Hem0s> u uh
<CmdrTaco> jamie a/s/l?
<jamie> shut up taco
<Hem0s> so what's the link?
<timothy> boooooring
<jamie> i found it while zapping through wired somehow my browser crashed on me again can u go find it?
<Hem0s> sure ... hold on a sec
<CmdrTaco> timothy a/s/l?
*** CmdrTaco (rob@home [mailto] ) Quit (Connection reset by peer)
<jamie> gotta tell you i LOVE that post you did on OpenGL a minute ago
<Hem0s> thx ... can't find it though
<jamie> it's there somewhere
*** CmdrTaco (rob@home [mailto] ) joined #slashdot
*** bill{Taco} sets mode: +b CmdrTaco
<jamie> ok lemme try again
<Hem0s> hurry jamie i already fired up mah mozilla dont know how long she stays put
<CmdrTaco> lookin for a good time? msg me
*** KatzAWAY left #slashdot
<jamie> here it is ... CERN is driving the Linux-based, EU funded, DataGRID project.
<jamie> The objective is to enable next generation scientific exploration which requires intensive computation and analysis of shared large-scale databases, from hundreds of TeraBytes to PetaBytes, across widely distributed scientific communities.'
<Hem0s> great stuff... lemme copy'npaste here..
<jamie> somethin bout amazing amounts of stuff in short timed periods ... like you know here's a gig fill it and you've got a split second to pull the goods outtathere
<Hem0s> you don't mind if i edit this a bit don't you
<jamie>gotta go bye!
<Hem0s> you don't mind if i redo this a bit don't you?
*** jamie left #slashdot (gotta reboot bye)
<CmdrTaco> lookin for cyber. msg me
<Hem0s> great ... now i gotta work this
*** michael sets mode: +ms
*** You were kicked by michael (spyin on us?)

Re:Storage to the rescue (1)

elvum (9344) | more than 12 years ago | (#2597197)

When they throw the switch and the protons or whatever start smacking into each other, they get many collisions in a row, several every millisecond, maybe dozens every millisecond (depending on collider circumference I imagine).

Yup, 40,000 every millisecond in the case of the LHC! Actually the size of the collider doesn't really limit the collision rate, since there's no problem with having more than one "bunch" of protons (or whatever) going round the ring at once.

Re:Storage to the rescue (1)

n2kiq (106867) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596190)

His comment doesn't imply that all the analysis needs to happen in the next 10ms, just that the useful data needs to be pulled. It's quite common for a scientific test to generate a lot of data, only a small fraction of which is useful.

Consider it 10ms to distill the Gigabyte into the useful 100MB that (you hope) may mean something in a few years.

-Paul

Re:Storage to the rescue (4, Informative)

sam@caveman.org (13833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596210)

or just write it all as it comes in and analyze it later.

1 GB per 10 ms comes out to 100 GB per second. after 24 hours of experimentation, you find yourself with 8.6 million gigabytes. hard drives are cheap, but not THAT cheap. and even if you had LOTS of 100 GB hard drives, you still need to find a place to PUT 86 thousand of them.

every 24 hours.

after 1 week's worth of data collection, you have 600 thousand 100 GB hard drives of data.

this is why 'store now, analyze later' is not as good of an option for collision data. you have to take that 100 GB of data per second, and first filter and say, 'which of these collisions might be interesting to look at? which ones produced the particles we are trying to study?'

-sam

Re:Storage to the rescue (1)

wnknisely (51017) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596482)

In general, the scientific process does not require conclusions during an experiment. I think CERN should cite a different reason for this project, there are many valid ones.

For instance, one possible application of this technology would be the ability to modify the beam in some way (flux, pulse, polariztion etc.) in real time during the experiment. Say that a high number of certain desirable event is observed. It might be interesting to try to modify the beam quickly to see what effect that might cause.

Heck- you could even set up some sort of feedback algorithm to maximize the number of events in real time, and that would be incredibly useful for people struggling to dig a signal out of a high noise level.

In prinicple this sort of high density data acquisition and rapid analysis could have applications in a number of fields way beyond experimental particle physics.

Re:Storage to the rescue (1)

stranger here myself (537770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596531)

That is also how it will work at the LHC - write it out and analyse it later. But unlike Seti@home there isn't a single analysis which will be run on this stuff. Everybody has their own projects which they will be running on their own (subsets) of the data. With PetaBytes/annum of data (even after all of the real-time filtering and compression) this is a pretty big task.

The full rate (real time, unfiltered, non zero-suppressed) for one of these detectors is *much* higher (40 million collisions/second * 10**7 channels of readout electronics). That's the real-time problem, and that is nothing to do with the Grid.

Re:Storage to the rescue (2, Insightful)

tr1n0 (534994) | more than 12 years ago | (#2597863)

40 million _events_ per sec, actually; multiplied by about 20 collisions per event gives almost a billion collisions per sec. Which results in a primary data rate ( before low level triggering ) of about 100 Terabyte - 1 Petabyte per sec.

Re:Storage to the rescue (1)

1/137 (179946) | more than 12 years ago | (#2598357)

Thats an unbelievably inefficient solution you have proposed. The problem is that we are studying quantum mechanical effects so everything we do is extremely statistical. Most of the time when an event happens in our detector, it is some trivial well understood event. If we didn't somehow ignore some (not all!) of these events, we wouldn't have enough space left over for interesting events that involve rare processes.


But how is this Science? Because it is extremely reproducible. We take enough unbiased data to understand the effect of more biased triggers. Then the biased triggers give us lots of rare events to study.


Keep an mind that our analysis still happens offline, we just have to work very hard to extract a signal while we are taking data

This wont work very well (1, Interesting)

sopwath (95515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596180)

I think they are assuming they'll be able to actually get all this raw data out to people around the world. That's going to be a problem for people on dial-up.(still the majority in the US, what about europe?) Plus the fact that it's going to cost a hell of a lot of money to keep thier end of the data pipe from bursting. Even if they only have a couple hundered megabytes per second that's quite a bit to maintain.

I know broadband is getting more accepted, but I don't think real-time is going to work on this kind of scale. SETI is successful because anyone can run it (evenif it is slow) and there's competition to get the most work units done. Without something to keep people interested, no one is going to run anything from CERN. Without the ability for a broad range of people to run a client or something, there's not going to be enough people anyway.

Harddrive space is cheap (compared to a super-colider) why can't they store all these petabytes of data? When the project gets more successful, they'll be able to actually analyse all the extra data they've got. I mean if you're going to spend that much money on a colider, you might as well get as much info as you can from it.

good luck,
sopwath

Re:This wont work very well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2599637)

Man, you are one stupid, ignorant fuck. Please re-engage your brain before you "contribute" anything else to this discussion.

What a waste of time you are. Find a gun, point it you know where, and BAM! the world is a better place.

TIA.

Re:This wont work very well (1)

levell (538346) | more than 12 years ago | (#2600000)

The data is sent to universities and research centers for analysis by large computers and physicists not your average dial-up user. They can't write out this much data fast enough which is why they have a sequence of increasingly complicated systems called "triggers" to decide what to write out. This data is then analysised partially locally and partially remoted via the grid.

Grid computing? (3, Insightful)

Exmet Paff Daxx (535601) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596194)

Taking a look at Gridcomputing [gridcomputing.com] , it's pretty clear to see that Grid Computing is actually... Distributed Computing. There's no new concept here - so why the new name? It doesn't make sense until you read the sound bite: "I believe grid computing will revolutionize the way we compute" [wired.com] .

Yes, if you can't invent an idea, rename it, and maybe you'll get some credit. What the hell, it's worked before [slashdot.org] .

Oh well. More power to them. It looks like a great opportunity for the world to learn that Linux is a powerful tool [extremelinux.org] .

Re:Grid computing? (2)

sam@caveman.org (13833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596223)

iirc, the main difference between grid computing and distributed computing is that for grid computing, it works like a utility company, you pay for the processing power as you use it. either that, or some networking professor wanted to write a book with a new title.

-sam

Re:Grid computing? (1)

Mannerism (188292) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596331)

Actually, I think the idea is for the world to learn that Solaris is a powerful tool. [sun.com] Follow the money...

Re:Grid computing? (1)

elvum (9344) | more than 12 years ago | (#2597174)

Grid computing is heirarchical, with higher tiers (typically stonking great PC farms) individually having much more processing power and data storage capacity than lower ones (eg the PC on your desk).

The main difference from existing distributed computing projects is that data storage is distributed as well as data processing; hence the investment in super-fast networks that people talk about.

Mind you, personally I don't see why we don't just put all the computers in the same room, and save all that investment in fibre... :-)

Re:Grid computing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2597280)

Mind you, personally I don't see why we don't just put all the computers in the same room, and save all that investment in fibre

Yup. There's usually no sensible reason not to do the first pass data reduction at the source. And where large amounts of raw data really need to be shipped, there should be some cost/benefit comparison between Internet II and Federal Express hauling tapes around. It's pretty expensive to match the bandwidth of a UPS truck, in fact.

However, big science is not like engineering. Engineers are interested in cost/benefit optimization and big science is interested in the inverse, or pessimization. Ultra-high bandwidth connections and extremely complicated distributed architectures that use them seem to fall clearly into the latter class of problem.

Re:Grid computing? (2)

Technodummy (204943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2598639)

It doesn't make sense until you read the sound bite: "I believe grid computing will revolutionize the way we compute" [wired.com]

In that article it says:

"One example of how this is not done is SETI," said Ellis, referring to the popular screensaver program beloved by millions of home and work computer users. The program processes chunks of satellite data for the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence project.

"It's not real-time, and it's not online," said Brian Coghlan of Trinity College Dublin, an Irish participant in DataGRID. "You go to SETI and laboriously download data and then laboriously send it back."

With DataGRID, they're talking about a network that can do real-time processing of petabytes of data -- a barely imaginable amount of information. One petabyte is a quadrillion bytes -- equal to all the information that could be held on 125,000 PC hard drives."


SETI data can be delayed. If you don't get online for awhile, your data is held back from the grid. Doesn't that make it different?

Solid State Niche (2, Interesting)

Cesaro (78578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596207)

This is exactly what the niche market for solid state drives is. You have gigs of data you need to get there FAST...then you can worry about picking it apart afterwards. After you have it on the solid state drive, then as long as you don't lose power and your UPS power, you can leisurely use however many computers you want to nit pick it without having to worry about missing data.

Re:Solid State Niche (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2596233)

Sure. Solid state whatever. Do you know what they cost? $10,000 per gigabyte. Useless for this project. You'd need a billion of these drives.

I wonder... (-1, Offtopic)

GISboy (533907) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596264)

How long it would take to index my pr0n collection?
In a database no less.

It's a little-known fact... (2, Interesting)

JohnPM (163131) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596271)

That 1 petabyte, if stored as an area of black and white 8mm square bathroom tiles with 2mm grout would cover an area of 900,720 square kilometres which is about 741 times the area of Los Angeles.

Bring on the pixie dust!

(source [losangelesalmanac.com] )

You stole my partytrick! (redundant) (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2598080)

I did the same kind of calculation here:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=23464&cid=25 31 974

900,720 km^2 ... not bad.

The United States of America is 9,372,143 km^2
Alaska is 1,518,800 km^2
Texas is 692,405 km^2
Arizona is 295,024 km^2
The Atlantic Ocean is 82,362,000 km^2
Europe is 10,360,000 km^2
Denmark (my home country) is a measly 43,069 km^2
Great Britain is 244,044 km^2
Germany is 356,733 km^2
France is 547,026 km^2
The Pacific Ocean is 181,300,000 km^2
Australia is 7,686,810 km^2
Greenland (the largest island in the world) is 2,175,600 km^2

Re:You stole my partytrick! (redundant) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2599648)

Greenland (the largest island in the world) is 2,175,600 km^2

Umm... what about Australia? It is an island too you know.

Re:You stole my partytrick! (redundant) (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2599828)

Not this discussion again. Look up "island" in your encyclopaedia.

Custumization of PCs (2)

hrieke (126185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596366)

Why not just use something like PC on a card (ala Transmeta or one of the others mention here at /. any number of times) to have each PC house multiple systems to compute the results.
I'm sure that a custom system could be designed and built for the problem on the cheap side (using off the shelf products and parts) and the cost could be spread around the various coliders around the world.
Heck, it would make for a good DARPA grant- hint hint.
Also, thinking about the amount of data generated, I'm sure that the collectors have some sort of system to buffer all that data (ungodly amount of RAM anyone?) which is then sent down the wire to storage over multiple NICs.
I also don't think that coliders are run 24/7 as someone else suggested / wrote.

Henry

Re:Custumization of PCs (2)

krlynch (158571) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596682)

I also don't think that coliders are run 24/7 as someone else suggested / wrote.

Actually, they are :-) They are run 24/7 for months at a time, then taken down for a few days/weeks for minor repairs, swap outs, and minor upgrades, then they go back up. And they do this for a few years on end. Then they go down for major overhauls and upgrades, and hopefully a few more runs.

Re:Custumization of PCs (1)

mmontour (2208) | more than 12 years ago | (#2597683)

I also don't think that coliders are run 24/7 as someone else suggested / wrote.

Tell that to the grad students who are there at 2AM running experiments. I had a summer job at TRIUMF in Vancouver, and I can assure you that they don't just unplug the cyclotron at 5PM and go home.

I had to run a few shifts on one experiment that was shooting muons into cryogenic solids. Typical sequence:
- Collect data for 30 minutes
- Adjust temperature setpoint on the controller
- Go down to the experimental floor (involving various safety interlocks to ensure that the beamline is shut off before you open the door).
- Turn a liquid-helium valve just a little bit (this was the coarse temperature adjustment; the electric heater was the fine adjustment).
- Go back up to the data-collection room and press "start" (assuming you turned the valve by the right amount; if not go down and try again)
- Repeat until the sun comes up and they let you go home.

Particle physicists tend to be very good at Solitaire and Minesweeper.

Similar work here in the US: HENP, NEES, etc. (1)

tcyun (80828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596435)

There is a great deal of activity here in the US w.r.t. the transfer of large amounts of data via advanced networks. Internet2 [internet2.edu] is working with the International Physics community from the US side. The HENP Networking Working Group [bnl.gov] (High Energy and Nuclear Physics). Additionally, there is work with with the National Earthquake Engineering Simulation Grid [neesgrid.org] . NEES is going to be collecting similar amounts of information from earthquake simulation experiments.

Some of the most interesting work is being done by those involved with the End to End Performance Initiative [internet2.edu] . These folks are trying to figure out what it takes to support the data transfer rates that will soon be necessary.

It continues to amaze me that it is now possible to use a network to transfer data to a disk/array faster than the disk/array can process it. I believe that many have pointed out that hardware (in terms of Moore's law and data acquisition/processing) has is not keeping up with the rate of data creation. But that is prob a bit obvious to most of us.

A few Corrections (4, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596457)

Actually the Fermilab article pointed to concerns a cluster of machines used for the L3 trigger of the D0 experiment (of which I'm a member). This actually has very little to do with the GRID since it is used as the final stage of a three stage trigger process which decides when an "interesting" event has been produced by the collider. The previous stage, L2, also uses Linux/Alpha machines but is not really a cluster since these custom built boards sit in various crates of electronics and process only a fraction of the data that the L3 sees (however our time budget at L2 is 100 microseconds compared to L3's 100 milliseconds!).

However, that said, D0 is heavily involved with the GRID project and has what is arguably one of the first production GRID applications, called SAM. This system essentially manages all of our data files around the entire globe and allows any member to run an analysis job on a selected set of data files. SAM then handles the task of getting those files to the machine where the job is running using whatever means is required (rcp or fetching it from a tape store). SAM also allows remote institutes to add data to the store which is used primarily by large farms of remote Linux boxes which run event simulations. We are also currently working on integrating SAM into our desktop Linux cluster which will allow us to use the incredibly cheap disk and CPU which is available for Linux machines. For more details you can consult the followng web pages:

http://www-d0.fnal.gov/ - the D0 homepage
http://d0db.fnal.gov/sam - the SAM homepage

Uhm, kinda funny (1)

Birdie-PL (255639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596584)

Well, i didn't accept any cookies from the datagrid [eu-datagrid.org] page and the result was amusing - I've never seen such an artistic error page. Try for yourself.
Tested under Netscape 6.2 only...

Virtual science (3, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596621)

This reminds me of an astronomy-related story I saw yesterday [yahoo.com] . Some projects are generating more data than the people doing the projects can handle.

Re:Virtual science (1)

mmol_6453 (231450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2598158)

It's certainly not a phenomenon without precedence. The CIA used to have a lot of trouble just analyzing all the data from satellite imagery, not to mention stuff from phone taps, radio intercepts, and whatever else they might have.

But I'm certain that not-necissarily modern pattern-recognition software can handle the bulk of the satellite data, and publically available speech recognition software, piped to publically available grammer analyzers can handle rudimentary analysis of radio and, to a lesser extent, telephone conversations.

That doesn't cover data conveyed with insinuation, or non-standard modem connection speeds, but maybe the government has already paid to have that done.

Has anyone considered looking at publicly available information (like the CIA's allotment of the US budget) and looking at how much R&D that could fund

From the ATLAS TDR... (3, Informative)

krlynch (158571) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596627)

So I went and found the ATLAS Technical Design Report, which gives all the numbers:

  • The detector itself will experience events at the rate of 10^9 per second.
  • Now, not all of that data even makes it out of the detector; it would correspond to somewhere around 10^11 MB/s (yes, megaBYTES per second) if they tried to dump all the data out to computers, so the detector has a number of levels of "triggering", which is specialized recognition hardware distributed all over the detector that "recognizes" and integrates the information coming off of small clusters of detector elements and decides whether or not there is anything "interesting" in that information, without reference to what is going on in the rest of the detector. This data bubbles up through a small number of layers of triggers that integrate increasingly larger segments of the detector, until it actually comes out and is sent into computers to be "recognized" as actual events.
  • Those events are analyzed by banks of computers, which sift through about 100 events per second, and if they are all stored, it adds up to about 100MB/s (of course not all of those events will be stored, but that is an approximate ceiling on the storage rate).


The final data rate is expected to be about 1PB/year (1 PB = 10^15 B = 10^7 MB). The LHC collider will probably run for about 25 years, there will be at least two experiments (and maybe up to four) running for most of that time ... you do the math on how much data will be collected and have to be analyzed :-)

A similar project: GriPhyN (1)

AlainRoy (533802) | more than 12 years ago | (#2596687)

You might be interested in GriPhyn, which is on of the American data grid projects that has been funded. It is a collaboration between physicists and computer scientists, with similar goals to the EU Data Grid.

You can read about it at: www.griphyn.org [griphyn.org]

Buried on the web site is the original proposal [ufl.edu] they made, and it gives you some idea of the amount of data we're working with.

Some approximate statistics from the paper:

SDSS gets data at 8MB/s, 10TB/year.
LIGO will get data at 10MB/s, 250TB/year.
CMS will get data at 100MB/s, 5 Petabytes per year.

Work has already been done with simulated data for CMS, and a demo of virtual data (may be pre-calculated, or calculated on demand) for CMS was shown at the Supercomputing 2001 conference last week. They used Condor clusters from a few different sites. I'm not sure which sites made it into the final demo, but it may have included U. Florida, Argonne, and U. Wisconin.

If I have 2^50 files... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2597320)

...of child pornography, am I a "petafile"?

Info... (1)

Pyrosz (469177) | more than 12 years ago | (#2597564)

Its just a "little" bit of data to store. The particle accelerator at Fermilab called the Tevatron can cause 2.5 million particle collisions per second. The new CERN PA will be able to produce 100 times more collisions per second, its due to come online around 2006.

Fun facts of the Fermilab PA:
700 scienteist and engineers work there.
1000 giant superconducting magnets.
$10 million in annual elictricity bills.
15 miles of pipes to carry the liquid helium to the magnets.

It's an execute-only world out there (1)

astyanax (8365) | more than 12 years ago | (#2597960)

You can have a project that gets tons of hits yet no one seems to actually want to maintain. Case in point, what has to be one of the most pointless pieces of eye candy ever created, CMatrix [asty.org] . Gets lots of downloads, mind you, but I posted (one year to the day as a matter of fact, what kind of coincidence is that) about needing a new maintainer. There have been about three volunteers since then, none of the applicants really mentioned having any experience in programming in curses (the toolkit used), let alone managing a project written in it.

Basically what it comes down to is most people (even GNU/Linux users) want to download and run the program, MAYBE poke at the code a little. But take over actual maintainership (even if it's next no no actual work), fugedabouit!

Storing the data isn't the only problem... (1)

npch (53012) | more than 12 years ago | (#2600001)

DISCLAIMER: I work for one of the centres involved in the DataGrid project.

One of the things DataGrid is designed to do is to give researchers easy access to the data they need.

It's kind of like a distributed data store with a tree like structure. The collider feeds data to national centres, they feed data to regional centres, regional centres feed data to local research groups, the researchers analyse the data.

What's more interesting, is what happens when these researchers start to exchange their results... terabytes of data flying around in all directions, not just downstream.

As for Grid Computing, yes - most of the technology isn't new, but then again neither was the World Wide Web. The Web was successful because it took existing good ideas, added a killer application (Mosaic) and proved to be useful to other fields than the one it was developed for.

The problem is that "grid" computing is being used to describe a number of distinctly different things: distributed data stores, clustered supercomputers, run-anywhere computing resources, commodity computing...

See the GlobalGridForum pages at: http://www.gridforum.org [gridforum.org]
for more details about Grid research and projects across the world.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?