Experiment Crunches Record Data with the Grid
(VANCOUVER, BC) - WestGrid researcher Dugan
O'Neil is part of a project breaking new records in data movement.
O'Neil is one of nearly 650 scientists involved with the DZero Project,
an international physics
collaboration between six countries.
DZero studies interactions of protons and antiprotons
in an intense search for subatomic clues that reveal the character
of the building blocks of the universe.
A new dedicated network connection [ a user
controlled lightpath provided by CA*net 4 to the D0 researcher in
Canada-BSA] on WestGrid has terabytes of particle collision data
flowing each day between Simon Fraser University, the University
of British Columbia and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
(Fermilab) in Chicago. A similar round of data transfers was done
in 2003, but on a much smaller scale.
"The WestGrid share of the last (data)
reprocessing was about 12 million events (particle collisions),"
says O'Neil. "This time it will be more than 100 million. Our
dedicated network connection has allowed a dramatic increase in
our transfer rate compared to last time."
The particle collisions are recorded from the
DZero detector at the Tevatron - the world's highest-energy particle
accelerator located in Batavia, IL.
Once captured, the data is processed into a
form useable by physicists.
Using grid computing, DZero partner facilities
around the globe have begun to provide enough computing power to
crunch more experimental data than ever before. In six months, the
computers will process 250 terabytes of data -
enough to fill a stack of CDs as high as France's Eiffel Tower.
"The grid allows DZero to make better use
of remote human resources as well as computing power," says
O'Neil. "Participating in the reprocessing is an important
technical contribution for our group and it gives us the experience
needed to figure out how to efficiently analyze data remotely."
O'Neil and colleague Yann Coadou have overseen
the coordination of the high-speed data transfers between SFU, UBC
The DZero experiment involves more
than 80 institutions in Canada, the U.S. and 18 foreign countries.
WestGrid is a $50 million project to purchase and install innovative
grid-enabled computing infrastructure across BC and Alberta. For
a list of DZero's collaborating institutions, please visit the DZero
web site (www-d0.fnal.gov). Fermilab is operated by Universities
Research Association, Inc., a consortium of 90 research universities,
for the United States Department of Energy's Office of Science.