Academic Scientific Research Computer Network of Armenia
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Computing Grid for South Caucasus Region

ISTC Project A-1451 (2007 - 2009)

Increasing demands of the advanced scientific research can be fulfilled only by exploiting the existing computation resources in a more efficient way, by means of on-the-fly coupling and dynamic on-demand allocation of resources. Grid technology aims to provide a solution for this problem. The Grid aims at the effective harnessing of computing and data resources available worldwide and at making them seamlessly accessible as a single resource for any user on the web. The Grid is a platform heavily driven by a computer, and data-intensive scientific and industrial applications (meteorology and environment control, high energy physics, earth observations, biology and health, aeronautics, medical diagnostics, automotive, etc). In the long run, the ultimate goal is that any information-technology-related resource or service can be accessible for the South Caucasus region researchers via the Internet, in the same way as the World Wide Web is available for everybody today.

In order to ensure that Armenia would not stay behind in this important area, an appropriate Grid infrastructure has to be deployed on basis of Armcluster (ISTC A-823 Project) which would be accessible, at the same quality level, for all scientists and researchers independently of the physical locations of their institutes. Such a Grid should consist of homogeneous local Grid systems established within and between the Armenian research organizations and universities (Yerevan State University, State Engineering University of Armenia) and then be extended to become a heterogeneous global system in the South Caucasus region.. It is planned to develop an effective threats dynamic analysis and protection software for dynamic analysis and protection against unauthorized access to data in the Grid, including development of protection strategies’ quality-measuring programs.

The purpose of the Project is to combine the existing knowledge and provide the general framework and Grid middleware for investigations in the following R&D areas: quantum physics, astrophysics, molecular dynamics, 3D periodic artificial microwave structures, IT infrastructure library performance, quantum 3D reactive scattering in the 3-body system, identification and recognition of objects from video images by using digital signal and image processing methods, two-dimensional cellular automata, decision-making and nonlinear boundary parallel algorithms.

To reach this objective it is necessary to deploy the adequate effective Grid infrastructure, including elaboration of the proper technology to build local Grid islands in the Armenian research organizations and universities. On the other hand, since no such infrastructure existed earlier in our region, we have no specialists in Grid technologies.Therefore it is planed to organize courses and dissemination days for introduction of Grid technologies in the main Armenian universities and research organizations. The courses are designed to give a broad overview of the concept of grid computing and state-of-the-art grid software, understanding and practical experience of how computational grids can be used in future research in science and technology, and to review some current and prospective directions of grid computing research and development.

Grid systems available currently in the world are still in the research phase, and Grid related research is supported intensively worldwide. Thus, it is a must for the Armenian computer science researchers to be involved in this research area. The main aim of this Project is to perform a result-driven research, with a potential of building a wide Grid infrastructure in Armenia, and then in the South Caucasus region - to assist in dissemination of Grid technology and development of specific applications for the Grid system.

Tasks related directly to the Armenian Grid infrastructure are as follows:

  • Deployment of heterogeneous local and global Grid systems ("Grid islands") in Armenia
    • In the main universities and research organizations
    • Among the main universities and research organizations
  • Development of appropriate technology for creation of local Grid islands in the Armenian research organizations and universities, especially in the following research areas:
    • Grid information system
    • Grid job manager
    • Grid broker
    • Grid security system
    • Grid monitoring system
    • Handling of data into the Grid
    • User interface for the Grid
    • Visualization Facility, Data Storage (Armcluster, NAS RA)
  • Contribution to the further development of the Armcluster.
  • Development of a high-level user interface to ensure seamless and uniform access for the users to all Grid islands.
  • Designing and implementation of decisions for the different Grid islands to cooperate on basis of the International Standard Open Grid Service Architecture.
  • Application and investigation of Grid technologies for data processing in experiments requiring real-time capabilities.
  • Creation of database for specific tasks in physics, biology and chemistry for the scientific institutes and universities. Application of standardized data and database access methods for different systems. The following forms of storage will be evaluated:
    • File based data management (e.g.ROOT)
    • Relational database
    • Object-oriented database
    • Geometric database
    • Distributed file system
  • Research and development of biological, physical and chemical ontologies for effective semantic data usage and inference.
  • Development of an effective threats dynamic analysis and security software for protection against unauthorized access to data in the Grid, including development of protection strategies’ quality-measuring programs.
  • Development of a software package for specification, development, integration and testing of tools and infrastructure, in order to provide access of end-users and administrator to the state and error information in a Grid environment and to provide an environment in which application monitoring can be carried out. This facility allows job performance optimization and problem tracing and is crucial to ensure high performance of Grid computing.

Support activities for the Armenian research community:

  • Monitoring of the international trends in Grid research and their adaptation to the Armenian Grid systems
  • Dissemination of Grid technology in Armenia by organizing pilot projects
  • Deployment of various Grid systems for specific research areas, such as:
    • Biologist Grid -- Investigation of theoretical problems of the inclusive rare B-meson decay
    • Astrophysicist Grid – Setup of the Armenian Virtual Observatory.
    • Quantum Physics Grid -- high performance calculations in the areas of applied quantum information and communications
    • Chemist Grid -- provide access of chemist partners to computational Grid resources.
  • Organization of collaborative Grid projects among various scientific areas
  • Professional support for organizing and coordinating the Armenian Grid projects
  • Propagation of Grid technologies in Armenia (training courses and dissemination days)

Tasks related to the international cooperation:

  • Establishment and maintenance of relations with the national Grid research networks of other countries
  • Representation of Armenian interests on various EU and International panels
  • Supporting the participation of the Armenian partners in the international research projects
  • Representation of Armenia within the International Grid Consortium

Foreign collaborators have actively joined the Project and will interact with its participants in the following areas:

  • appear on the technical advisory committee sessions for each area of the Project, contributing and guiding the Project implementation, as well as participate in regular meetings;
  • exchange information during the Project implementation;
  • provide peer review of the Project results;
  • participate in the semi-annual Project review meetings;
  • give comments on the Technical Progress Reports submitted to the ISTC;
  • organize joint symposiums and seminars;
  • provide assistance through leveraging funds from the related projects funded by other agencies;
  • accept the Project participants at western universities and laboratories;
  • disseminate the valuable results of the Project and identify other sources of support.