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SAGE Highlights at SC09

Display walls of any size – whether digital cinema animations, high-resolution images, high-definition video-teleconferencing, presentation slides, documents, spreadsheets or laptop screens.

NSF believes this important, and recently awarded University of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) a 3-year grant to transition SAGE from a research prototype to a hardened technology for cyberinfrastructure. EVL’s goal is to develop production-quality, community-driven, open services for visualization and collaboration, foster the growth of the burgeoning SAGE user community, and create a forum for developers and users to contribute new tools, capabilities and applications.

EVL hosted a SAGE Birds of a Feather (BOF) session at SC09
Tuesday, November 17
12:15PM – 01:15PM
Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Room A107-108

The following presentations took place and can be downloaded from the SAGE website.

  • SAGE Introduction, Roadmap & Development – Jason Leigh, Luc Renambot, Sungwon Nam, Ratko Jagodic, UIC/EVL
  • SAGE Application – Kelly Gaither, TACC
  • SAGE Application – Paul Wielinga, SARA
  • SAGE Research – Byungil Jeong, TACC
  • SAGE System and Applications Research – Sachin Deshpande, Sharp Laboratories of America
  • SAGE Inter-tile Synchronization – Sungwon Nam, UIC/EVL
  • SAGE and Paraview – Sungwon Nam, UIC/EVL
  • SAGE User Interfaces – Ratko Jagodic, UIC/EVL

Members of the SAGE User Community showcased the following SAGE demos at SC09 in their research booths.

The SARA Computing and Networking Services facility of The Netherlands planned several SAGE demonstrations:

  • Video streaming from Amsterdam to Portland, in cooperation with the University of Amsterdam, of 4K, 2K and 1K video material
  • A parameter study of a global climate simulation, project Essence, showing 36 different variables simultaneously
  • CosmoGrid, a large-scale cosmological dark-matter simulation, displaying 8128×5248 pre-generated content, while comparing to lower resolutions to show added value
  • FlySafe, a project that tracks and predicts bird migration patterns to aid flight safety
  • Pinnacle, a project simulating flow dynamics in warming air layers

Images of famous artwork from Japan and Taiwan were displayed on the NICT SC09 tiled display wall. NICT developed an iPhone interface that enabled users to zoom and pan through the images to see details.

The High Performance Digital Media Network (HPDMnet) is an experimental network research initiative that is designing, developing and implementing the world’s first international high-performance service specifically created for high-quality, large-scale digital media, including support for extremely high-volume media streams. Led by Northwestern University, and located in the National Center for Data Mining booth at SC09, members of the HPDMnet Consortium streamed 3D high-resolution visualizations in real time from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3D medical imaging streamed from CRC in Canada, a 3D virtual world for nanotechnology science from Northwestern in Chicago, and digital art compositions and live camera streams (showing SAGE on a local tiled display) from Technische Universität Braunschweig in Germany.

Osaka University of Japan planned two demonstrations:

  • Uncompressed HDTV on a tiled display wall: Osaka University and NTT used NTT’s i-Visto uncompressed HDTV player and SAGE to stream video in real time to a tiled display wall in Osaka’s booth on the show floor
  • Application Control Module for SAGE: Users viewed and compared multiple drug docking simulation results on a tiled display wall in Osaka University’s booth that were calculated on distributed computational grid resources in Japan and the US. Osaka’s Application Control Module enabled users to manipulate the applications themselves as well as manage their windows using a SAGE UI.

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) deployed an NSF-funded ultra-scale visualization cluster “Longhorn” at its facility in Austin, Texas, and used SAGE to demonstrate Longhorn’s large-scale remote visualization and collaboration capabilities. Using SAGE and the TeraGrid’s 10Gbps network, large-scale visualizations coming off Longhorn were displayed on a 36-Megapixel tiled display wall in the TACC booth on the show floor. In addition, the University of Queensland in Australia streamed uncompressed and DXT-compressed full-HD live camera feeds and visualization streams to the TACC booth using SAGE over AARNet, Pacific Wave, and NLR PacketNet. These streams are also forwarded to the Dell booth and to SARA in the Dutch Research Consortium booth on the show floor.

About SAGE
SAGE, the Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment, is cross-platform, open-source middleware that enables users worldwide to have a common operating environment, or framework, to access, stream and juxtapose data objects – whether digital cinema animations, high-resolution images, high-definition video-teleconferencing, presentation slides, documents, spreadsheets or laptop screens – on one or more tiled display walls. SAGE is an outgrowth of the NSF-funded OptIPuter project, whose goal was to enable collaborating scientists to interactively explore massive amounts of previously uncorrelated data by developing new architectures for shared e-science facilities. Early adaptors are creating a nascent international user community that is referred to as the OptIPlanet Collaboratory. NSF recently awarded a three-year, $1.9-Million grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) to create persistent SAGE visualization and collaboration services for global cyberinfrastructure. For more information, see

About EVL
The Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at University of Illinois at Chicago is a graduate research laboratory specializing in the research and development of networked, high-resolution visualization, collaboration and virtual-reality display hardware and software systems, and the design and implementation of international networking infrastructure. It is a joint effort of UIC’s College of Engineering and School of Art and Design, and represents the oldest formal collaboration between engineering and art in the country offering graduate MS, PhD and MFA degrees. EVL has received worldwide recognition for developing the CAVE™ and ImmersaDesk™ virtual-reality systems, and, more recently, the GeoWall low-cost passive stereo display, the LambdaVision tiled display, the Varrier autostereoscopic display, and the LambdaTable and TacTile horizontal high-resolution displays. EVL receives major funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). EVL is a founding member of StarLight and the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), and was a lead institution of the NSF-funded OptIPuter project

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