The use of OptIPortal visualisation walls amongst Australian institutions has grown to a level where interaction beyond the usual point-to-point has become feasible. This has opened up interesting opportunities for multisite collaborations, which are now driving demand for stable middleware to manage such wall-to-multiwall interactions.
SAGE (Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment), developed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is a cross-platform graphics streaming architecture that is gaining broader acceptance in serving this purpose.
To further the opportunities of collaboration using SAGE in the Australian research community, the University of Queensland and AARNet have enabled the deployment of a SAGEBridge trial service with 10Gbps backbone connectivity. The SAGEBridge enables interactions between multiple walls by duplicating and splitting visual streams from one wall to other participating sites with a variety of bandwidth capabilities – a method dubbed “VisualCasting” or just “VisCasting”. Various VisCasting sessions have been conducted between SAGE enabled OptIPortals, particularly between AARNet (Sydney), University of Queensland and NICT in Japan, generating up to 7Gbps across the network, and over 10Gbps in the lab!
A High Resolution Tiled Display workshop is being conducted at the Queensland University of Technology on 7 December as a part of the IEEE eScience 2010 Conference. This workshop is designed to cater both for new users as well as researchers who are already operating tiled display walls. The current and future applications of display wall technology will be discussed, including the role of SAGEBridge, and explore opportunities for participants to collaborate and contribute in a growing community. A feature presentation for this tutorial will be given by Jürgen Schulze from Calit2 at the University of California, San Diego. Jürgen is an expert in scientific visualization in virtual environments, human-computer interaction, real-time volume rendering, and graphics algorithms on programmable graphics hardware.
Following the workshop, an invitation will be extended to participants to expand the SAGEBridge trial, particularly to those on the far reaches of AARNet and its sister networks.
The complete article can be found in the December 2010 issue of AARNews.
AARNet Pty Ltd (APL) is the company that operates Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet). It is a not-for-profit company limited by shares. The shareholders are 37 Australian universities and the CSIRO. AARNet provides high-capacity leading edge Internet services for the tertiary education and research sector communities and their research partners. AARNet serves more than one million end users who access the network through local area networks at member institutions. For further information, please visit www.aarnet.edu.au.
Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) deploys and maintains High Performance Computing (HPC) and advanced ICT infrastructure to support Queensland researchers and industry. Founded in 2000 by the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, University of Southern Queensland, Central Queensland University, James Cook University and the University of the Sunshine Coast, QCIF is a collaborative vehicle to build shared research infrastructure encompassing Brisbane and regional areas.