The University of Texas at Arlington is teaming with the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven and Argonne national laboratories to develop a universal version of PanDA, a workload management system built to process huge volumes of data from experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.
The new project will bolster science and engineering research that relies on "big data," a priority recently promoted by The White House. The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research has awarded a combined $1.7 million to Brookhaven
and UT Arlington to fund the PanDA work over the next three years.
"PanDA has been an extremely useful piece of software. We could not have found the Higgs without it," said Kaushik De, physics professor and director of UT Arlington's Center of Excellence for High Energy Physics. "It's been used by thousands of physicists around the world. We thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice if we repackaged it so others could use it too?' So, we proposed generalizing PanDA as a meta-application."
UT Arlington and Brookhaven developed PanDA for use by the ATLAS collaboration, a particle physics experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. ATLAS includes 3,000 physicists from UT Arlington and more than 170 other institutions, 40 of which are in the U.S. In July, it was one of the groups that made headlines by announcing the discovery of a new particle that scientists said could be the Higgs boson, also known as the "God particle."
The computing hardware associated with ATLAS is located at 100 computing centers around the world that manage more than 50 petabytes, or 50 million gigabytes, of data. PanDA links the computing centers and allows scientists to efficiently analyze the tens of millions of particle collisions taking place at the Large Hadron Collider each day. In addition to De's work developing PanDA, UT Arlington is home to the ATLAS Southwest Tier 2 grid computing center.
"The collaboration between UT Arlington and Brookhaven National Laboratory was established a long time ago and it is a very successful story," said Alexei Klimentov, Physics Applications Software Group Leader at Brookhaven. "We