Vast efficiency improvements when using the grid

New software from the areas of gravitational physics and genome research reduces work efforts by 95%. Presentation from 22 to 24 March in Dresden.

March 19, 2010
Astrophysicists and genome researchers will be presenting software tools in Dresden that are set to ease access to the immense computing capacities of the grid. The automatic distribution and control of computer programmes in the grid enables their intensive use in the first place. This moves grid computing for all into the realm of the possible. The results will be presented for the very first time at the “All-Hands-Meeting”, the most important German conference devoted to grid computing. The All-Hands-Meeting will take place from 22-24 March at the TU Dresden: Hörsaalzentrum, Bergstrasse 64, 01062 Dresden.

Dr. Beck-Ratzka, Head of the “eScience” Group at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute/AEI) and member of the Technical Advisory Board of D-Grid, explains: “Whereas around two years ago three to four hours a day were required to control 5,000 simultaneously-running data analyses, today 5-10 minutes are sufficient to get the job done. This is equal to a work reduction of 95%! This means that grid computing has reached the production maturity stage.”

Assist. Prof. U.D. Dr. Tobias A. Knoch, head of the international working group Biophysical Genomics (Bioquant Center/Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, and Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam) adds: “For us, grids are the crucial key technologies for understanding life and, most importantly, in the battle against disease. In an international cooperative venture, grid resources have been a decisive element in finding, in a group of over 20,000 people, DNA sequences that especially provide critical impulses for the treatment of chronic pulmonary diseases.”

The new software made it possible for Beck-Ratzka and Knoch to use 400,000-500,000 CPU hours daily through the automatic installation of the necessary programmes and the automatic elimination of correctable errors. This high number of CPU hours makes the scientists from the AEI and the Biophysical Genomics working group the biggest users of grid resources in Germany and even number among the main users at the global level.

The astrophysicists and genomics researcher want to make their expertise and software available in the near future in order to provide users with easy access to the grid. To date, over 50 interested parties have already contacted the scientists.

Dr. Alexander Beck-Ratzka and Assist. Prof. U. D.  Dr. Tobias A. Knoch will gladly make time for you at the All-Hands-Meetings in Dresden for a personal conversation.


Software GAT: A. Eifer et al., 2009: JavaGAT Adaptor for UNICORE 6 - Development and Evaluation in the Project AeroGrid. Proceedings of 5th UNICORE Summit 2009 in conjunction with EuroPar 2009, Delft, The Netherlands, LNCS (accepted).

Software GRIMP: K. Estrada et al., 2009: GRIMP: a web- and grid-based tool for high-speed analysis of large-scale genome-wide association using imputed data, Bioinformatics, 25, 2750-2752, 2009.

Pulmonary research: D. B. Hancock et al., 2009: Meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies identify multiple loci associated with pulmonary function. Nature Genetics. Online Dec. 13, 2009.

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