Authors: Jason Leigh (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Maxine Brown (University of Illinois, Chicago), Luc Renambot (University of Illinois, Chicago)
Abstract: SAGE2 (Scalable Amplified Group Environment) is an open-source, web-based, user-centered platform for local and/or distributed small or large groups of researchers, educators and students to communicate information and ideas as if they were in the same room. Think of it as WebEx or Skype for cyber-enabled, data-intensive science, engineering and education. SAGE2, like its predecessor SAGE (Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment), is the defacto operating system for managing Big Data on tiled walls, providing the scientific community with persistent visualization and collaboration services for global cyberinfrastructure. This year’s BoF will focus on eliciting community input on use cases and cybersecurity enhancements.
Long Description: SAGE2, like the original SAGE, is a framework that provides users with the ability to share digital content with local and remote collaborators on scalable displays. Via wireless, users can simultaneously connect to display walls with their devices, share laptop screens, transfer local documents to the wall using a drag-and-drop interface, access web pages, share local documents with remote users, and use a mouse pointer and keyboard to interact with existing content. SAGE2 receives major funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The SAGE2 SC BOF is a relevant forum for the audience, as the SC and SAGE2 communities overlap almost 100%. SAGE2 users work at supercomputer centers, government laboratories, universities, and industry research centers (multiple users per site), with half these institutions in the U.S. and half international, making the SC BOF the primary venue for discourse. The SC BOF is also the primary venue to attract new SAGE2 users. Attendee names are added to a SAGE2 listserv that is used for year-round communications and user surveys. (Note: This listserv is in addition to an online Forum where users post software questions.)
The SAGE2 SC BOF provides an unparalleled opportunity for community building, as current stakeholders and potential users attend SC. Though we are aware of over 90 institutions that use SAGE2, there were 1,000 downloads of SAGE2 in the past year alone, so SC enables us to reach a broad audience. This year, the SAGE2 team wants to elicit community input on cybersecurity issues raised at prior SC BOFs. Notably, the team is investigating Identity and Access Management (IAM) software that will be most appropriate for SAGE2's distributed user base, and what technologies are needed to secure system vulnerabilities. The team also continues to focus on integrating web-based application-specific software into the current framework.
The SAGE2 SC BOF has a high level of audience participation. Nine successful BOFs have been held at previous SC conferences, each attracting approximately 50 people and several NSF program managers! Both developers and users contribute, present use cases, announce new features, and discuss future roadmaps.
The SAGE2 SC BOF is not commercial. Vendors who build computing, display and network hardware attend to learn how the research community accesses and displays information. Users of SAGE2, not vendors, may discuss the quality, cost, or ease of use of vendor-specific hardware.
The SAGE2 SC BOF offers attendees a timely topic. Cyberinfrastructure runs the gamut -- from computing, data, visualization, networks, and instruments, to software and application codes -- and promises to enable research at unprecedented scales, complexity, resolution, and accuracy. However, it is the research community that must make sense of all the data being amassed, so cyberinfrastructure must extend to *people*. The SAGE2 framework supports a common and intuitive infrastructure for both individuals and global scientific teams to share and integrate visual analyses of large-scale datasets.
We previously held nine extremely successful SC BOFs. Prior presentations are on the SAGE2 website (http://sage2.sagecommons.org/); SC17 BOF materials can be found at (http://sage2.sagecommons.org/2017/11/27/sage2-sc17-demonstrations-birds-of-a-feather-and-scinet-participation).
Back to Birds of a Feather Archive Listing