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Janice Cuny, Robert Dunn, Steven T. Hackstadt, Christopher Harrop, Harold H. Hersey, Allen D. Malony, and Douglas Toomey, Building Domain-Specific Environments for Computational Science: A Case Study in Seismic Tomography, International Journal of Supercomputing Applications and High Performance Computing, Vol. 11, No. 3, Fall 1997. Also appearing in the Proceedings of the Workshop on Environments and Tools For Parallel Scientific Computing, Lyon, France, August 1996.

Keywords: computational science, domain-specific environments, seismic tomography, visualization, distributed data access

We report on our experiences in building a computational environment for tomographic image analysis for marine seismologists studying the structure and evolution of mid-ocean ridge volcanism. The computational environment is determined by an evolving set of requirements for this problem domain and includes needs for high-performance parallel computing, large data analysis, model visualization, and computation interaction and control. Although these needs are not unique in scientific computing, the integration of techniques for seismic tomography with tools for parallel computing and data analysis into a computational environment was (and continues to be) an interesting, important learning experience for researchers in both disciplines. For the geologists, the use of the environment led to fundamental geologic discoveries on the East Pacific Rise, the improvement of parallel ray tracing algorithms, and a better regard for the use of computational steering in aiding model convergence. The computer scientists received valuable feedback on the use of programming, analysis, and visualization tools in the environment. In particular, the tools for parallel program data query (DAQV) and visualization programming (Viz) were demonstrated to be highly adaptable to the problem domain. We discuss the requirements and the components of the environment in detail. Both accomplishments and limitations of our work are presented.


Modified: Mon Mar 31 14:00:10 1997
Created: Thu Dec 12 12:29:24 1996

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