List of Projects & Cooperations
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"Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries" Excellence Cluster
25 RWTH professors from the field of materials and production engineering, along with several affiliated institutes and Fraunhofer institutions, are involved in the Cluster of Excellence “Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries.” The cluster investigates production technologies with the help of which the competitive disadvantage of high-wage countries in production can be overcome. more
AICES (Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science)
AICES represents a new doctoral program under the auspices of the Excellence Initiative of the German state and federal governments. RWTH Aachen University—one of the leading technical universities in Europe—has been establishing educational structures to meet the future research challenges in computational engineering science (CES). AICES is spearheaded by 15 RWTH institutes from 4 departments, and it includes participation from Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research in Düsseldorf. The VR Group at the IT Center of RWTH Aachen University develops innovative methods of interactive visualization in order to establish an intuitive analysis of the conducted simulations within the scope of the AICES projects. more
Center for Innovative Learning Technologies (CiL)
The CiL is one of the e-learning service centers of RWTH Aachen University and an integral part of its e-learning strategy. It offers advice and support to everybody at RWTH using e-learning for organizational matters, administration, studies or teaching. With its qualification program and advisory services it especially supports teaching staff in developing and implementing modern blended learning courses that integrate classical face-to-face teaching with media-supported teaching. The goal is to create courses that focus on students’ needs, promote active, self-paced learning and offer high quality didactics.
The central element of CiL’s services is the RWTH-wide learning and teaching platform L²P. Its virtual course rooms offer the infrastructure teachers need for realizing blended learning courses. The CiL is responsible for developing and supporting the platform. The IT Center as its partner is taking care of operating the platform and integrating it with the central IT processes supporting teaching at the university. more
Central University Administration of RWTH Aachen University
The Central University Administration, ZHV for short, sees to it that the University's responsibilities in planning, administration, and legal matters are fulfilled. The ZHV views itself as a service provider for students, departments, university institutions, and externally for the ecnomony, industry, municipalities, associations, and school students. Likewise, it provides a broad range of services.
The IT Center collaborates with the ZHV in various areas, such as teaching, room management, procurement, and quality management. IT Center and ZHV are conducting several joint information technology projects. Particularly prominent examples are the Campus Management projects and PuL, which is concerned with the reorganization of processes surrounding exam and course management.
Efficient Runtime Support for Future Programming Standards
Because of the increasing number of cores on a single chip and in order to profit from the potential of accelerators in compute clusters, message passing paradigms like MPI are often no longer sufficient to utilize the hardware in an optimal way. Therefore a growing number of applications will employ a hybrid approach for parallelization, like MPI+OpenMP or MPI+OpenACC or even MPI+OpenMP+OpenACC. The recent version 4.0 of the OpenMP specification addresses this by incorporating programming support for accelerator devices and SIMD units in modern microarchitectures. This increases the complexity of application development and correctness checking for parallel applications. In ELP, a modified OpenMP runtime will be developed, delivering runtime internal information to correctness analysis tools like MUST or debuggers like DDT. This will allow detecting certain error classes automatically. The data will also be used by the performance analysis tool Vampir to better understand the performance behavior of an application.
Two years after the Gauss-Centre has been created to coordinate the European supercomputing activities, Germany took the next step to shape the future of high performance computing (HPC) on a national level. On December 3rd 2008 the nations leading supercomputing centers met in Bonn to create the Gauß-Allianz. While the Gauss-Centre was successfully addressing the needs on the top end, it was clear from the beginning that an additional layer of support was required to maintain the longevity with a network of competence centers across whole Germany. This gap is now addressed by the Gauß-Allianz, where regional and topical centers team up to create the necessary infrastructure. more
Human Brain Project - Interactive Visualization, Analysis, and Control
Within the Human Brain Project (HBP) started in October 2013, the Virtual Reality Group is leading a work package “Interactive Visualization, Analysis, and Control”. The work package is part of the HBP subproject “Interactive Supercomputing” headed by the Jülich Supercomputing Centre, and includes partners from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Swiss Supercomputing Centre, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid. Furthermore, the KAUST University in Saudi Arabia will serve as an associate partner in this work package. more
Hybrid Parallelism for the Jülich Code FLEUR
The full-potential all-electron DFT code "fleur" is in active use for research by the group in Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and has additionally an international user base with about 1000 registered users from all over the world. The code has its special strength in the description of surface properties and magnetic materials, heterogeneous and multicomponent solids, but can handle all chemical elements of the periodic table and thus is also applied to materials containing 5d-elements or those with 4f- or 5f- electrons.
A major difficulty in the applicability of the FLEUR is the insufficient scaling behavior for large structures, which limits the possibility to simulate large unit-cells frequently encountered in disordered or multicomponent systems or in situations in which structural or chemical defects become of significant importance.
Since 2014 the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA) supports the cooperation with FZJ to implement hybrid parallelisation which will allow for using current and future supercomputers to perform large DFT calculations. The final version of the program should not only enable the use of several hundreds of nodes but also incorporate a memory efficient OpenMP parallelization for obtaining a high single-node performance.
Former Information to "fleur" please find here >>>
Hyperslice Visualization of Metamodels for Manufacturing Processes
In the second phase of the Cluster of Excellence “Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries” the Virtual Production Intelligence (VPI) platform is being developed. It is a holistic and integrative concept for the support of collaborative planning, monitoring and control of core processes within production and product development in various application fields. In the context of the VPI we are developing a tool for the explorative visualization of multi-dimensional meta-model data, which is based on the concept of hyperslices, linked with a 3D volume representation. The tool is applicable to various scenarios of multi-dimensional data analysis, but the concrete use case in the current project is to find ideal configuration parameters for laser cutting machines in the context of factory planning. more
Interactive Physically-based Sound Synthesis
While visual feedback is often the main focus in Virtual Environments, sound is another important modality. Auditory feedback can enhance the immersion and believability of virtual scenes. However, the common approach of using pre-recorded sound samples is often not feasible for highly interactive environments, because too many sounds would have to be recorded or designed upfront. Especially with physically simulated objects, a lot of sounds are generated by collisions between objects. The sound of such collisions depends on different factors: the material and shape of the objects, as well as the positions, strength and temporal distribution of the collision forces. Especially the latter aspects are difficult to reproduce with sound samples. more
Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance
The Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance, JARA for short, a cooperation between RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich, provides a top-level research environment that is in the top international league and is attractive to the brightest researchers worldwide. In five sections, JARA conducts research in Translational Brain Medicine , Nuclear and Particle Physics , Future Information Technologies, High-Performance Computing, and Sustainable Energy.
The RWTH Aachen IT Center provides support to the JARA-HPC section, which first and foremost aims to contribute to making full use of the opportunities offered by high-performance computers and computer simulations to address current research issues. Furthermore, it seeks to provide a joint infrastructure for research and teaching in the fields of high-performance computing and visualization. more
MUST – Runtime Error Detection for Parallel Applications
Since 2013 the IT Center is developing the MUST tool in close cooperation with the Center for Information Services and High Performance (ZIH) of the TU Dresden. It is a tool for the runtime-detection of MPI usage errors, which was developed at ZIH since 2008.
MUST combines the functionality of it's predecessors Marmot and Umpire and additionally offers improved scalability, extensibility and usability. The further development of MUST since 2013 focused on the distributed detection of deadlocks in applications parallelized with MPI. MUST is based on the "Generic Tool Infrastructure" (GTI), a novel infrastructure for parallel tools. It enables the scalability and extensibility of MUST. more
OpenMP - Focus on Shared-Memory-Parallelization
Since 1998 the High Performance Comuting Team of the Center for Computing and Communication of the RWTH Aachen University is engaged in the topic of Shared-Memory-Parallelisierung with OpenMP. OpenMP is productively used on the currently largest Shared- Memory Computers of the Center for Computing and Communication with up to 1024 processor cores. OpenMP meanwhile supports also heterogeneous computers as well as vectorization. more
Performance, Optimization and Productivity - POP
Using performance analysis tools and optimizing code for HPC architectures is a cumbersome task which often requires in depth expert knowledge in HPC. Because of current trends of computing architectures to use accelerators, more cores and deeper memory hierarchies, this complexity is going to increase further in the foreseeable future. Therefore, the POP (Performance, Optimization and Productivity) project offers services in performance analysis and performance optimization to code developers in industry and academia to connect code developers and HPC experts. This shall allow to integrate performance optimization in the software development process of HPC applications. The POP project gathers experts from the Barcelona Supercomputer Center (BSC), the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS), the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC), the Numerical Algebra Group (NAG), TERATEC und the IT Center of RWTH Aachen University.
POP is one of the eight Centers of Excellence in HPC that have been promoted by the European Commission within Horizon 2020.
Further information on the project and how you can engage the services of POP can be found here.
Regional Anesthesia Simulator and Assistant
The aim of this project is to gather European experts from very diverse fields, from computer sciences to anesthesiology, to bring an innovative tool in the hands of the medical doctors to perform safer regional anesthesia for the patient at reduced cost for the society. For that purpose, a virtual reality simulator and assistant will be developed, providing an innovative way for medical doctors to train extensively on virtual patients and to be assisted by additional patient-specific information during the procedure. The project started on 1st of November 2013 for three years, gathers experts from 10 European countries in a consortium of 14 academic, industrial and clinical partners. more
Ressourcenverbund NRW (Resources Association NRW) is a consortium of university computing and communication centers seeking to create synergy effecty by establishing an IT competency network and providing IT resources to all participating institutions. more
The RWTH Aachen University provides services and resources in the RV-NRW.
Scalable Tools for the Analysis and Optimization of Energy Consumption in HPC - Score-E
For some time, computing centres have been feeling the severe financial impact of the energy consumption of modern computing systems, especially in the area of high-performance computing (HPC). Today, the share of energy already accounts for a third of the total cost of ownership and is continuously growing. The main objective of the Score-E project, funded under the 3rd "HPC software for scalable parallel computers" call of the german Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is to provide user-friendly analysis and optimization tools for the energy consumption of HPC applications. more
SPEC -Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation
Since 2013, the IT Center of RWTH Aachen University is part of SPEC and actively engaged in its High Performance Group (HPG). SPEC’s HPG is a forum for discussing and developing benchmark methodologies for High Performance Computing (HPC) systems. At the same time, the group releases production quality benchmark suites like SPEC MPI2007, SPEC OMP2012, and SPEC ACCEL, that can evaluate all dimensions of parallelism. These benchmark suites are used in academia and industry to conduct research in HPC systems, facilitate procurement, testing, and tuning of HPC systems. more
UNiform Integrated Tool Environment - UNITE
High-performance clusters often provide multiple MPI libraries and compiler suites for parallel programming. This means that parallel programming tools which often depend on a specific MPI library, and sometimes on a specific compiler, need to be installed multiple times, once for each combination of MPI library and compiler which has to be supported. In addition, over time, newer versions of the tools also get released and installed. One way to manage many different versions of software packages, used by many computing centers all over the world, is the "module" software. However, each center provides a different set of tools, has a different policy on how and where to install different software packages, and how to name the different versions. UNITE tries to improve this situation for debugging and performance tools. more
Virtual Institute - High Productivity Supercomputing
Sponsored by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers the Virtual Institute - High Productivity Supercomputing (VI-HPS) aims at improving the quality and accelerate the development process of complex simulation programs in science and engineering that are being designed for the most advanced parallel computer systems. The IT Center of the RWTH Aachen University is focussed on improving the usability of the state-of-the-art programming tools for high-performance computing developped by the partner institutions. more
Virtual Reality-based Medical Training Simulator for Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy
This project aims at developing a specialized training system dedicated to the teaching of a major maxillofacial surgery procedure based on Virtual Reality technology. The medical procedure of interest, the bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO), allows the displacement of the lower jaw in all three spatial dimensions, e.g., to correct an under- or overbid. The procedure is performed via an intraoral approach and includes the creation of an osteotomy line in the mandible using a saw or a burr, followed by a controlled splitting of the bone by a reversed twisting of one or two chisels inserted into the line. more
VisNEST – Visualization of Neural Brain Activity
The general idea of brain simulation is to reverse engineer the brain using large-scale simulations.
To understand the relationships between structure and dynamics on multiple scales, ranging from microscopic circuits to networks at brain scale, forms a formidable challenge in neuroscience and produces a large amount of data. This data has to be analyzed in a timely fashion to understand the simulated model and extract insight about its functioning at the aforementioned scales. more