NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery for 50 Years

Notes for Visualization Requirememnts



Notes from June 5, 2002, Visualization Requirements for DOE-Sponsored Computational Science and Engineering Applications

A DOE Workshop to Be Held 
at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
Berkeley, California, June 5, 2002

Workshop Co-organizers:

Bernd Hamann 
University of California-Davis Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. E. Wes Bethel 
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Horst D. Simon
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.




In 2001, the DoE Office of Science embarked on an ambitious new program called ``SciDAC - Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing.'' One of the goals of SciDAC is to develop and deploy the computer science tools that will enable computational scientists with DoE mission-relevant applications to take full advantage of terascale computing platforms. While a large number of computer science-centered projects received funding in so-called ``Integrated Software Infrastructure Centers'' (ISICs), the approach to scientific visualization was not integrated across the program. Only a small number of computational projects include specific visualization tasks supported through SciDAC. It is clear that many DoE computational scientists, who use NERSC or other OASCR (Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research) computational resources have visualization requirements that are currently not met.



We are organizing a one-day workshop dedicated to the identification of crucial scientific data visualization needs. The workshop will not be concerned with presenting state of the art in scientific data visualization. Instead, the workshop will consist of computational scientists and engineers who will present their visualization requirements for current and next generation projects. We will invite leading computational scientists and engineers from across the DOE Scientific Computing programs, with the purpose of having them present their visualization needs. Application scientists and engineers will be asked to provide one-page summaries of their data visualization requirements. We will collect these requirement summaries in a white paper and make them available to DOE for further planning of the visualization program in MICS (Mathematical, Information and Computational Sciences Division), in particular for potentially growing the program. The white paper should be seen as a requirements document similar to the "NERSC Greenbook" for computational resources.


Date and Location

The workshop will be held on 5 June 2002 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in Berkeley, California. At LBL, the workshop will convene Perserverance Hall, located in Building 54, Room 103.


We will hold the one-day workshop adjacent to the next NERSC User Group (NUG) meeting. Many key NERSC users will be attending the NUG meeting, and we would invite them to stay for an extra day to participate in the one-day workshop. The NUG meeting will take place in 3-4 June 2002, at both the OSF in Oakland, and at LBNL in Berkeley.


Workshop Logistics and Important Dates

Workshop Registration

In order to ensure a well-focused workshop, participation in this workshop is by invitation only.

Please register for this workshop at Even though that link refers to the entire NERSC User Group meeting on June 3-5, please use that link to register even if you are attending only the Visualization Workshop on June 5.

Important Dates

•               3-7 May 2002 - Invitations emailed to participants.

•               10 May 2002 - Invitation to participate RSVP due to Workshop organizers.

•               20 May 2002 - Cutoff day for special room rates ($69/night) at Hotel Shattuck in exciting downtown Berkeley. The NUG workshop page (URL above) has hotel information.

•               29 May 2002 - Program Finalized.

•               5 June 2002 - the Workshop.

•               19 June 2002 - Workshop results collated, summarized and posted to the web.

Site Access

Access to the LBL campus is restricted to LBL staff and authorized visitors. Those from offsite will need to obtain either a letter authorizing access via the LBL shuttle bus, or to have gate access arranged. The contact for site access is the workshop logistics coordinator, Yeen Mankin. She will be contacting participants to arrange for site access. If you have any questions or problems, please contact her directly at, or by phone at (510) 486-7580.

Maps and Directions

Maps, driving directions and lots of other visitor info is located at this URL:


Suggested Speaker Topics

Please prepare a brief position statement (one to two pages) that addresses the following issues:

Considering the potential landscape in five years:

•               Describe the size and complexity of your data. Is its size measured in terabytes? Petabytes? Does it span many orders of magnitude in resolution (e.g., from planetary to atomic scale)? Does it consist of a single grid, multiple grids, nested/hierarchical grids, etc.

•               Do you envision a need to interact with your computation while running? Interaction might mean a passive examination of partially computed results, or it might mean the ability to alter variables in the code to steer it.

•               Do you expect that your data will reside in a single location, or will it be distributed around the network?

•               Do you envision needing to use software tools that are distributed around the network? For example, compute might be in one location, and analysis tools in another. Or, both themselves might be comprised of distributed software components.

•               What will you require of visualization technology in order to perform your scientific investigation? Where do current technologies suffice, and where do they fall short?

•               Please address the extent to which you envision a need for collaborative visualization technology. Some define collaborative visualization as sharing of data files, while others define it to mean multiple participants from several sites performing simultanous examination and analysis of data. Feel free to use whatever definition makes the most sense for you, but please make sure you communicate which definition you are using.

•               If you could wish for anything from the visualization community, what would it be?


Workshop Email List

The majordomo list

has been created to disseminate information about the workshop. Anyone may subscribe, but only subscribers may post to the list.


To subscribe to this list, send an email to

where the Body of the email contains the words:


subscribe VisGreenbookWorkshop2002

To unsubscribe from this list, send an email to:

where the Body of the email contains the words:


unsubscribe VisGreenbookWorkshop2002

If you need more information about majordomo list commands, please refer to this URL: The following link is broken:

If you run into a jam, the list administrator is Wes Bethel (LBNL/NERSC).


Workshop Findings

The workshop findings are available at the bottom of this page, attached.


(For the original workshop proposal and description, click here.)



  • VisGreenFindings-LBNL-51699.pdf | Adobe Acrobat PDF file
    This report presents the findings and recommendations that emerged from a one-day workshop held at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) on June 5, 2002, in conjunction with the NERSC User Group (NUG) Meeting.