14th November 2013.
TSSG hosts Fionn – Ireland’s Latest Supercomputer
Minister Seán Sherlock TD, Minister for Research and Innovation and the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC, http://www.ichec.ie) recently announced Ireland’s latest supercomputer called Fionn at the Dunsink Observatory. The name, chosen by Oscar O’Donoghue, a student from DCU CoderDojo, stems from Fionnachtana (Irish for Discovery) and Fionn mac Cumhaill. It aptly reflects the size of the new machine and the new R&D that it will enable.
Presenting the prize for the winning submission in ICHEC’s Name Our Computer competition, Minister Sherlock commented: “Oscar’s competition entry aptly reflects the versatility of the new ICHEC machine and the scope of the R&D that it will enable, while simultaneously placing it firmly within an Irish context.”
An investment of over €3.7M supported by Government through Science Foundation Ireland (http://www.sfi.ie) and €450k from industry, Fionn, a hybrid machine capable of running many different applications and workflows, will quadruple computing resources previously available to scientists in Ireland. Fionn will enable researchers to solve their scientific and industry-related problems quicker by scaling out and scaling up their R&D. Fionn will enable all domains of science from nano material discovery and medical device development to weather forecasting and renewable energy. It is also designed to solve the Big Data challenges of today that require large computing power and large amounts of RAM and storage.
Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, said, “Access to data processing power on the scale that the new supercomputer will provide is essential if Ireland is to realise its ambitions in the area of Big Data. The sector is growing by 40% annually and presents a real opportunity for Ireland to leverage the requirements of convergent industries and the capabilities of academia through partnerships that will help create high value jobs. The analytical capability that resources like this new supercomputer will provide can help position Ireland as an international hub for Big Data research.”
Fionn is a parallel machine and it is imperative that Ireland produces people with skills to harness this computing power. To this end ICHEC launched its inaugural coding competition aimed at promoting parallel programming. The challenge was set to take image processing computer code and make it run in parallel to take advantage of modern multi core processors. The Minister presented the winning prize to Maciej Goszczycki who met the challenge and showed great skill in completing it. Maciej regularly attends the TCD Science Gallery CoderDojo in Dublin.
“The whole CoderDojo community is thrilled with Maciej’s achievement in winning the challenge, which was no trivial matter and it is a fine Irish name that has been chosen full of meaning and yet matching the CoderDojo ethos of ‘Be Cool!’ We look forward to other CoderDojo young people also gaining insights into the world of coding for modern parallel supercomputers.” said Bill Liao, CoderDojo Founder.
Fionn is made up of four components: Thin, Hybrid, Fat and Service nodes with over 8,400 compute cores and 24TBs of RAM. The new machine will run non-stop for the next four years. It will provide an estimated 295,000,000 hours of computation not counting the power of the accelerators! Fionn provides access to the latest technology from Intel, Ivy Bridge processors along with Xeon Phi coprocessors, coupled to high performance storage from DataDirect Networks (DDN), to researchers across Ireland. “Supercomputers are the key to innovation and development. Our new national supercomputer, named Fionn, is being launched today and we are pleased to bring this new supercomputer to Ireland’s innovators. We look forward to supporting the new breakthroughs that this piece of national infrastructure will enable across academia and industry.” said Prof. JC Desplat, ICHEC Director
The supercomputer was purchased from SGI (http://www.sgi.com; CA, USA. NASDAQ: SGI) with the storage provided by DDN (http://www.ddn.com; CA, USA. EMEA headquarters in Dublin, Ireland). Fionn is installed at the TSSG (http://www.tssg.org/) data centre in Waterford Institute of Technology. ICHEC manages its operation and access is granted through a peer review process run by the ICHEC Science Council.
“ICHEC is providing the computing resources and expertise to the Irish academic and industrial research community to develop the large scale simulations required to tackle fundamental scientific questions and to advance engineering design; often these scientific and engineering questions are intertwined. ICHEC’s initiatives to engage young students by opening windows on high performance computing helps ensure that Ireland’s next generation of researchers will be well aware of the modern computing technologies at their disposal that will support them in solving future challenges.” said Prof. Jim Greer, Head of Tyndall Graduate Studies, Tyndall Institute and Chairman of the ICHEC Science Council.
Details of both competitions aimed at primary and secondary students can be found here: http://nameourcomputer.ichec.ie/ and http://nameourcomputer.ichec.ie/superCoderContest.html plus a short video, http://youtu.be/35p5wGevzVY, commissioned for its launch.
For more information contact:
Infrastrucutre Manager, TSSG.
+353 51 302940
Minister Sherlock announces 3 WIT Technology Gateways to Share in €23million Funding
A nationwide network of Technology Gateways, capable of delivering technology-based solutions for companies in Ireland was launched by Seán Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation today (Monday) in Thomond Park, Limerick. Waterford Institute of Technology hosts three of these Technology Gateways; SEAM, PMBRC and MSTG (TSSG). Each Technology Gateway provides technology solutions in the form of mobile services, pharmaceutical and healthcare services and biomedical devices.
This is a €23million investment by Government through Enterprise Ireland in 12 Technology Gateways located in 8 Institutes of Technology; Athlone IT, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, IT Tallaght, IT Tralee, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Limerick Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology.
Designed to act as the ‘R&D arm’ of companies, the Technology Gateways will focus on delivering technology solutions through collaborative projects with the research teams in the Institutes of Technology.
Expertise is available to companies in technology areas such as; applied biotechnology, connected media, biodiagnostics, engineering materials, pharmaceutical and healthcare, mobile services, coatings innovations, embedded systems, polymer technologies, intelligent sensor systems, photonics and wireless solutions.
Launching the Technology Gateway Network Minister Sherlock said, “The Government’s primary goal is to generate growth and create employment in towns and cities around Ireland. The Technology Gateway Network will give companies all over Ireland access to technology solutions for their business challenges. Enterprise Ireland’s involvement in this process ensures the commercial value of these solutions can be converted into new products and services so that quality employment opportunities can be grown and maintained”.
Between the three Technology Gateways based in WIT, they have engaged with companies such as O2, Feedhenry, FastForm, Bausch and Lomb, Teva, Schivo along with Pinewood Healthcare, Waters Technologies and Genzyme.
Speaking at the event, Declan Lyons, Enterprise Ireland explained that Technology Gateways will connect the research and innovation capabilities of the Institutes of Technology to the companies that need novel technology solutions.
“Enterprise Ireland and the teams in the Technology Gateways are committed to solving the technical challenges faced by companies in their efforts to develop new products and services. The beauty of this network is that if one Gateway doesn’t have the answer, they can put out a call to the other 11 in the network to find it” concluded Lyons.
For more information on the Technology Gateway Network visit www.technologygateway.ie.
Pictured at the announcement from left Mr Barry Downes, CEO TSSG, Dr Niall O’ Reilly, Centre Manager PMBRC, Mr. Seán Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation, Dr Ramesh Raghavendra Centre Manager SEAM and Dr Peter McLoughlin, PI PMBRC & Head of Department of Chemical & Life Science.
05th September, 2013.
Japanese and Irish researchers jointly develop ground-breaking technology that could lead to cheaper electricity prices
NTT DATA Corporation and TSSG have participated in a collaborative research project which started in November 2012 and jointly announce they have developed an energy management solution using Big Data analytics to improve predictions in market intelligence of electricity demand, pricing and renewable generation.
These results herald the beginning of the next phase of this long-term project, focused on facing the global uncertainties of matching future electricity supply and demand.
Ireland’s embracing of renewable energy generation serves as an attractive test-bed in demonstrating the viability of reliance on renewable energy. The joint initiative developed a model that allows energy suppliers to predict energy demand for every 15 minutes in the next 24 hours, using historical data and weather data. By doing this, it successfully counteracts unpredictable factors, such as weather patterns in safeguarding the stability of a national grid infrastructure through leading-edge Big Data algorithms.
In Japan, there are significant opportunities in the electricity generation sector, driven by the impending liberalization and expansion of the electricity market. This expansion also includes demands by government to incorporate substantial levels of renewable energy generation, requiring new and existing power companies to act immediately in this regard.
The research focused on the analysis of historical electricity generation and weather data taken over the previous five years, to produce a predictive model for electricity power generation and pricing over 15 minute intervals. To enhance the accuracy of the algorithm a feedback mechanism was developed to directly address the impact of energy demand on the pricing model. This groundbreaking invention empowers the energy sector with improved visibility on directly matching electricity supply with demand leading to potential operational and cost efficiencies in the market, in essence providing the platform to pass on savings to consumers during times of optimal renewable generation.
NTT DATA and TSSG will expand the collaborative research based on the current results and will aim for building an energy management solution and undertaking a live experiment in the near future.
Dr. Kitani, Senior Vice President, Research and Development Headquarters of NTT DATA, said:
“I am pleased that we developed successful results in collaboration with TSSG since November 2012 as the first step for NTT DATA to extend our R&D capabilities into Ireland. This forms part of our partnership expansion strategy with research institutes worldwide to explore advanced technologies and create new services, NTT DATA is extending our collaboration scheme with TSSG and building a long-term relationship with Ireland by executing the next phase of the project.”
Dr. Donnelly, Director of the TSSG, said:
“The TSSG is proud to announce the completion of the first phase of this joint collaboration. We are very proud to be associated with a world leader such as NTT DATA. Collectively we have developed unique expertise in the important area of renewable energy management which will bring economic benefit to Japan and Ireland. We value the relationship with NTT DATA and are committed to the establishment of a joint world class centre of excellence to leverage our expertise in Big Data, Utility Management and Communication Networks.”
This technology is one of the activities related to NTT DATA Technology Foresight 2013 [Note 1] technology trend “Strategic data collection and analysis”.
About NTT DATA Corporation
NTT DATA is your Innovation Partner anywhere around the world, with operations in more than 35 countries. NTT DATA emphasizes long-term commitment and combines global reach and local intimacy to provide premier professional services from consulting, application services, business process and IT outsourcing to cloud-based solutions.
NTT DATA Corporation provides unique Big Data / Business Analytics services called “Data Warehouse / Business Intelligence Lab Service®”, services for customers to check the feasibility of business intelligence systems in achieving customer objectives, and data analysis consulting using “BICLAVIS®”, NTT DATA’s best analytics design knowledge for Big Data.
The TSSG is a world leader in the area of adaptive networks and services with particular emphasis on ubiquitous communications environments based at Waterford Institute of Technology. Data Analytics and in particular the management of Big Data forms a core part of its research program. Through the ‘SFI SRC Fame’ program (Note 2), TSSG has established a strategic research program with many international organizations. It is a major participant in the European Framework Future Internet research program including the FINSENY and FINESCE projects (Note 3), addressing smart energy. It has established an innovation platform for the exploitation of its research outs. This platform has resulted in the creation of 10 companies employing more than 200 people.
The TSSG was formed as part of the Waterford Institute of Technology (a university-level institution based in the South East of Ireland with over 10,000 students and 1,000 staff) in 1996 focusing on research in mobile and fixed-line telecoms. TSSG has engaged with over 425 partners across 35 countries worldwide e, on collaborative research projects. They are considered leaders in the EU Framework Programs (FP) and have contributed significantly to setting the European research agenda.
Note for Editors
(Note 1) NTT DATA Technology Foresight is a study of the near future and technology trends which NTT DATA publishes annually.
Based on current social and business issues, a broad range of research and interviews with industry experts, we obtain insights into the near future in terms of information society and technology trends which are likely to make a significant impact on our customers’ mid to long term business. NTT DATA Technology Foresight
(Note 2) ‘SFI SRC Fame’ is a Strategic Research Cluster funded by Science Foundation Ireland investigating Federated, Autonomic Management of End-to-end communication services
(Note 3) FINSENY project: Project to conduct demonstration tests in cooperation with ICT businesses and energy-related businesses in Europe with an eye to clarifying ICT requirements for prediction control and optimization by smart grids. FINESCE builds on and extends the results of the FINSENY project to realise sustainable real time smart energy services. The consortium includes leading energy and ICT operators, manufacturers and service providers as well as research organisations and SMEs from all over Europe
* ”BICLAVIS” is a registered trademark of NTT DATA Corporation in Japan.
* ”Data Warehouse / Business Intelligence Lab Service” is a registered trademark of NTT DATA Corporation in Japan.
* Other names of products, companies, and organizations herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
For more information, please contact:
Public Relations Department
NTT DATA Corporation
Marketing & Communications
Waterford Institute of Technology
Tel: +353 51 306228
Email: edelaney @wit.ie
Products and Services Enquiries:
Research & Development Headquarters
Service Innovation Center
NTT DATA Corporation
Nishimura, Inaba, Nakasaki
The TSSG will be participating in Enterprise Ireland’s annual technology transfer gathering at the Big Ideas Technology Showcase at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on 25th September. This year Miguel Ponce de Leon will present an on-demand cloud–based “Platform as a Service” for Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC).
A 2 minute overview of the technology can be seen on this You Tube clip.
This event provides an opportunity for Irish universities and Institutes of Technology to get together and to exhibit their latest and greatest technologies to a wide audience that includes company executives, investors and entrepreneurs.
So how is this new platform different, Miguel will present a solution that allows non-specialists to create and adopt realtime communications easier and faster into their website. The platform brings two major enhancements to WebRTC technology. Firstly, at the front-end, it simplifies the in-browser communication interfaces, allowing developers to incorporate WebRTC into their own application by literally applying a couple of lines of code. Secondly, at the back-end, the platform has taken away the complexities of setup, billing, signaling and termination of voice, video and multimedia calls, by integrating its own carrier-class call processing platform into its PaaS offering.
The platform makes browser-to-browser and browser-to-phone communication seamless to the developers, and truly empowers them to bring rapidly and effectively, multimedia communications to their applications. As an acknowledgement of this unique value it brings to the industry, Miguel is glad to say that this WebRTC PaaS platform is already in trial phase with two major Mobile Network Operators in Europe and North America, and is being adopted by a growing number of developers.
A paper written by Phelim Dowling of the EFM team was recently invited for publication as an article in the Wiley special issue of ‘Journal of Software: Evolution and Process’.
The article entitled ‘Successfully Transitioning a Research Project to a Commercial Spin-out using an Agile Software Process’ is a case study of the FeedHenry project. It describes how it matured from a funded research project to a successful company with a focus on the agile software process that supported this transition. Emphasising the benefit of an early grounding in the TSSG’s agile process, the article explains how a more lean and aggressive release cycle methodology was implemented to enhance the projects commercial viability. A description of how the highest quality standards were maintained during this rapid evolvement is outlined with a focus on the automated test framework employed.
On Tuesday 27th August, members of the FINESCE WP5 team successfully participated in a XIFI workshop to evaluate security requirements from an electricity grid operator’s perspective, with an additional crucial objective to determine a potential use case to be trialled between the projects.
TSSG, members of both XIFI and FINESCE, hosted the meeting at their premises in Waterford, and members of ESB and RWTH Aachen were in attendance.
During the workshop, both projects familiarised themselves with the content and context of the respective work plans. FINESCE outlined the various Smart Grid trials that are being developed in WP5 and XIFI provided details of their platform and network rollout, and also the availability of their resources to support the FINESCE trials.
The projects successfully identified a potential Use Case – to utilise XIFI resources to run large numbers of emulated EVSEs (charge points) to exercise the Charging Optimisation System (COS) and associated APIs being developed in FINESCE. In this Use Case, it is envisaged that XIFI will host the emulated VM images (supplied by FINESCE WP5) and XIFI will establish secure network connectivity to the FINESCE WP5 energy management system.
John Howard, WP5 leader for FINESCE, summarised the event: “A great opportunity to get a heads-up on the wider FI-PPP world, and to deepen our collaboration with the XIFI Project.”
Eamonn Power, XIFI manager for TSSG and host of the workshop, said: “We’d like to extend official communication channels of the XIFI consortium and help the FINESCE contribution to requirements and use cases (shared goals of both projects). Our primary goal was getting to know the ESB team and their work in FINESCE. We also wanted to promote awareness of the XIFI federation. I thought it was great for the teams to meet and gain a common understanding.”
How many times have you looked at a software project and made a decision whether or not to use it based solely on the quality of the documentation? Writing documentation is one of the most difficult tasks on a project, keeping this documentation accurate can also be hugely time consuming. Here at the TSSG we have been looking at different ways to create and distribute written documentation.
Lightweight markup languages such as Asciidoc offer the means to make writing documentation as fast and easy as writing an email. Asciidoc enables the process of write once, use everywhere mentality. The Asciidoc2html-pdf toolchain is a wrapper for the Asciidoc tool, it is designed to produce styled PDF and HTML output with customisable headers and footers with an automatically generated table of contents which can be used as project deliverables, research notes and or technical documentation.
AsciiDoc can be easily translated in to many different formats including DocBook, HTML, LaTeX, PDF, EPUB and man pages. This process also encourages authors to write content in distinct blocks which could then be re-used in documentation, articles, web pages, man pages at a later stage, without the need to constantly cut and paste text from different locations. This also has the potential of keeping all written items on the project in synchronisation, in some ways thinking and building your documentation, similar to how developers would think and build libraries for their code.
Depending on the level of granularity you wish to aim for, chapters, sections and paragraphs can all be broken down into separate files and stitched together at document build time. This allows huge freedom in document design, and provides the means to reuse content in many areas of the same project.
To begin using the Asciidoc format and utilising the Asciidoc2html-pdf toolchain you’ll need to install it on your favourite OS (it works best on Linux, but has been possible to install on OSX and Windows through Cygwin). The toolchain has version 8.6.6 of the Asciidoc tool bundled with the system. To begin the installation check the code base out from the GIT repository here and refer to the readme document bundled with the code base as it contains information about installation and the system dependencies required to operate the toolchain. The latest code base requires Python, Java and Xsltproc to be available on the PATH.
This toolchain has been in production within the TSSG for the past year, our experience has shown that documentation developed using the toolchain can be most effective when hosted using a source control manager such as GIT or SVN. In order for someone to create their first document they must initially follow the projects repository branching model, for example creating a GIT feature branch to hold the new work. The asciirock gem which in its initial state allows only for a new document structure to be created at the specified path is bundled with the Asciidoc2html-pdf toolchain. The intention is to continue development on this gem to the point where it can replace the asciidoc2html-pdf toolchain outright, by employing the Ruby implementation of the Asciidoc processor Asciidoctor. The readme contains detailed information on how to create a new document with the required structure suitable for building using the toolchain, refer to it for more information.
The index asciidoc file in which all document are imported must contain the following header template at the top, it is this information which the toolchain uses to populate the front page whether PDF or HTML. Once more the readme gives more detailed information on this area.
:reporttype: HOWTO :reporttitle: Configuring a .netrc file for automatic user authentication with bitbucket.org :author: David Kirwan :email: firstname.lastname@example.org :group: Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) :address: Waterford Institute of Technology, West Campus, Carriganore, Waterford, Ireland :revdate: August 10, 2013 :revnumber: 0.1 :docdate: August 10, 2013 :description: HOWTO configure the .netrc file to allow automatic user credentials authentication with https://bitbucket.org :legal: (C) Waterford Institute of Technology :encoding: iso-8859-1 :toc:
Finally there are two different options available such as the Apache Ant and the Ruby Rake build scripts each execute the Asciidoc2html-pdf toolchain and build the documents into either HTML or PDF outputs. Refer to the readme for information on how to execute either build system.
The system is still early in development and is available on github, feedback, improvements and pull requests are most welcome!
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