VisIVO, a library and integrated tools for large astrophysical dataset exploration

Ugo Becciani (INAF - Astrophyisical Observatory of Catania),
U. Becciani (INAF), A. Costa (INAF), N. Ersotelos(University of Portsmouth) , M. Krokos (University of Portsmouth), P. Massiminio (INAF), C. Petta (University of Catania) , F. Vitello (Consorzio Cometa)


VisIVO provides an integrated suite of tools and services that can be used in many other scientific fields.
VisIVO development starts in the Virtual Observatory framework. VisIVO allows users to visualize meaningfully highly-complex, large-scale datasets and create movies of these visualizations based on distributed infrastructures.
VisIVO supports high-performance, multi-dimensional visualization of large-scale astrophysical datasets.
Users can rapidly obtain meaningful visualizations while preserving full and intuitive control of the relevant
parameters. VisIVO consists of VisIVO Desktop - a stand-alone application for interactive visualization on
standard PCs, VisIVO Server - a platform for high performance visualization, VisIVO Web - a custom designed
web portal, VisIVOSmartphone - an application to exploit the VisIVOServer functionality and the latest VisIVO features:
VisIVO Library that allows a job running on a computational system (grid, HPC, etc.) to produce movies directly with the code internal data arrays without the need to produce intermediate files. This is particularly important when running on the large computational facilities, where the user wants to have a look of the results during the data production phase. For example, in grid computing facility images can be produced directly in the grid catalogue, while the user code is running in a system that cannot be directly accessed by the user (a worker node). The deployment of VisIVO on the DG and gLite is carried
out with the support of EDGI and EGI-Inspire projects.
Depending on the structure and size of datasets in consideration, the data exploration process could take
several hours of CPU for creating customized views, and the production of movies could potentially last
several days. For this reason an MPI parallel version of VisIVO can play a fundamental role in increasing
performance, e.g. it could be deployed automatically on nodes that are MPI aware. A central concept in our
development is thus to produce unified code that can run as necessary either on serial nodes or in parallel by
using HPC oriented grid nodes. Another important aspect, to obtain as high performance as possible, is the
integration of VisIVO processes with grid nodes where GPUs are available. We have selected CUDA for implementing
a range of computationally heavy modules.

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Paper ID: O06

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