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Virtual Laboratory: Exploring e-Science in CAS. Kai Nan, Jianjun Yu, Xing Hang Computer Network Information Center (CNIC) Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Xi’An, June 6, 2014. Outline. Motivation e-Science and Virtual Laboratory Current Work on VLAB Planning in Future.

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virtual laboratory exploring e science in cas

Virtual Laboratory: Exploring e-Science in CAS

Kai Nan, Jianjun Yu, Xing Hang

Computer Network Information Center (CNIC)Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Xi’An, June 6, 2014

  • Motivation
  • e-Science and Virtual Laboratory
  • Current Work on VLAB
  • Planning in Future
the definition of e science
The Definition of e-Science
  • Three kinds of e-Science:
    • Computationally intensive science in highly distributed network environments
    • Science that uses immense data sets that require grid computing
    • Distributed collaboration, such as the Access Grid
  • Examples:
    • social simulations, particle physics, earth sciences, bio-informatics, …
  • Cited from wikipedia
why e science
Why e-Science
  • Challenges in modern science research (from the view of scientific researchers )
    • Science problems are more complex than ever
    • Science research object is not isolated, but cross discipline and large-scale
    • Science data processing, simulation and computing become indispensable methods
    • need more and more communication, collaboration, coordination among them closer than ever
why e science1
Why e-Science
  • From the perspective of resources
    • Great total amount with limited utilization
    • Lack of effective usage of resources
    • Scientists need to collaborate sharing their resources and knowledge
why e science2
Why e-Science
  • From the perspective of IT:
    • What researchers need
      • Huge demand for computing technologies
      • Huge demand for sharing

the resource / collaboration

    • What provides
      • High speed network
      • HPC
      • Large scale of scientific data
    • How to provide
      • e-Science environment
      • Give scientists a more EASY-TO-USE interface to help them using the heterogeneous resources
what e science do
What e-Science do
  • Provide a research collaborative environment
    • Combining all resources: including computing, network, data, human,….

Videoconference & On-line Forum

Communication & Collaboration

Experiments & Field Stations

Supercomputer Center

Observation &Experiment

Computing Facility


Storage Facility

Specimen Library

Computation & Simulation


Theory Analysis


Software Tools

  • Motivation
  • e-Science and Virtual Laboratory
  • Current Work on VLAB
  • Planning in Future
cas 11th five year informatization program 2006 2010
CAS 11th Five-year Informatization Program (2006- 2010)
  • Continue to develop the infrastructure and existing applications
  • e-Science Facility
    • Networks of field stations/instruments(60), Mobile equip., Digital library of natural resources
  • e-Science Applications
    • HEP, Astro, Bio, Geo, Chemistry, …(about 10 or 16)
  • Resource Integration Platform
  • Supporting Environment for Applications
our vision of e science
Our vision of e-Science
  • Virtual Laboratory based e-Science
    • An integrated collaboration environment to supporte-Science
    • Composed of shared and collaborative hardware, software, data, information, human, ….
  • An EASY-TO-USE interface for scientific researchers
  • A basic form and tool for e-Science activities
e science vs e science virtual labs
e-Science VS. e-Science Virtual Labs
  • e-Science would be applications-driven
  • “Virtual Labs” , the key position in our e-Science framework ,the core component to make e-Science a reality
  • Should emphasize that Virtual Labs don’t mean make experiments online
virtual labs solves
Virtual Labs Solves
  • Virtual Lab is proposed to be
    • a basic unit of research activity in the e-Science environment
    • the right user interface between scientists and their e-Science environment
virtual labs goals
Virtual Labs Goals
  • With Virtual Labs,
    • all kinds of resources could be integrated into a single access point
    • customized and flexible services would be provided according to the specific requirements of different domains in an easier way than ever before
    • Multidisciplinary, multi-organization collaboration could be carried out online.
features of virtual labs
Features of Virtual Labs
  • Ease of use
    • much easier to use than current systems.
  • Resource integration
    • provide the user with a single operating environment under which many kinds of resources, such as supercomputers, mass storage facilities, scientific databases, digital libraries, high bandwidth link, scientific equipment, etc. could be accessed in a seamless way.
  • Customized service
    • provide a user with what he or she wants completely and exactly. Each user may have a specific workbench individually.
    • users may choose different services at different times or at different prices.
  • Ubiquitous research
    • benefit from state-of-the-art technologies on mobile computing and related so that user could use the Virtual Lab at any time and anywhere.
features of virtual labs cont
Features of Virtual Labs (cont’)
  • Collaborative work
    • enable a lot of scientists, who are from multiple independent institutions, from multiple sites across the world, and from different professional backgrounds, to work together on a collaborative project or a common problem.
  • Scalability
    • support hundreds of users from tens of institutions, but should work just as well for three or five users.
  • Management
    • interact with outer management systems, such as ARP in CAS, to help improve efficiency during the whole lifetime of a research project or other research activities.
virtual labs goals in 2006 2010
Virtual Labs Goals in 2006- 2010
  • Provide a virtual lab environment
    • Scientific Virtual Organization management
    • Scientists can access, organize and manage resource easily and transparently
    • Integrate resources from CAS, such as computing, storage, database, library
    • Document share and collaboration
    • Organize Internet-based activities, such as project review, conference
  • At least three e-Science applications on Virtual Labs
    • Biology
    • Astronomy
    • High Energy Physics
    • ...
vlab projects
VLAB Projects
  • Exploration of e-Science Virtual Lab with our vision
  • A product under Virtual Lab concept
  • We focus more on how to develop an e-Science environment for real scientific application
architecture of vlab
Architecture of VLAB

Virtual Workbench


Resources & services

Scientific Workflow

Core toolkit

VO management

AV Plugin


Resource Plugin

Device Plugin

Document Collaboration

Database Plugin

Activity Collaboration

Other Plugins

Didital Library Plugin







new technologies advancing vlab
New technologies Advancing VLAB
  • SOA
  • Grid computing
  • Web Services
  • Scientific workflow
  • Portal (WSRP)
the core components of vlab
The core components of VLAB
  • Virtual Workbench
  • Core Toolkits
  • e-Science Security Infrastructure
  • Virtual Labs services
virtual workbench
Virtual Workbench
  • A universal portal for e-Science activities
    • Open, scalable, flexible integrated platform for different resources
    • Support flexible requirements from scientists
    • Support component reuse
    • Assure usable and accessible
core toolkits
Core Toolkits
  • Virtual organization management tool
  • Document collaboration tool
  • Activity organization tool
e science security infrastructure
e-Science Security Infrastructure
  • Construct a PKI based security infrastructure
    • CAS e-Science CA
    • Be authorized by APGrid PMA, 2006
    • Be trusted by IGTF
    • Based on OpenCA package
virtual labs services
Virtual Labs Services
  • Deploy the basic VLAB platform
  • Work and develop with the front-line scientists for specific add-in, like visualization tools
  • Take specific requirements from real scientific application
current work on vlab
Current Work on VLAB
  • SDG(Scientific Data Grid)
    • Data processing centered e-Science
  • AVLAB (Astronomical Virtual Lab)
    • e-Science application
  • Duckling&CLB
    • Virtual Lab core toolkit
scientific data grid
Scientific Data Grid
  • Aimed at:
    • connecting massive data resources in Scientific Database
    • realizing effective sharing of those geographically distributed, heterogeneous and autonomous data resources via grid computing technology, especially data grid technology
what sdg provides
What SDG provides
  • DAS
    • Data Access Service
  • IMS
    • Grid Information Service
  • Security Infrastructure
  • Storage Service
  • SDG Portal
  • SDG Toolkit

Scientific Data Grid

Scientific Data Grid Applications

Avian Flu Alert System

Other Grids

Virtual Observatory Grid

High Energy Physics Grid

Scientific Data Grid Middleware

Scientific Database

  • Goal:
    • Access over forty scientific databases in CAS
    • Integrate immense scientific data sets
    • Provide universal interfaces for researchers
  • Functions
    • Metadata extraction
    • Database schema mapping
    • Block data set
    • GT4 compatible
  • Astronomy Virtual Laboratory
    • A key demonstration project of MOST
    • Is one of the typical application of virtual laboratory (e-Science)
why use e science solution
Why use e-Science solution
  • Requirements for collaborative observation are massive, whereas astronomers always use telephone and email, making low efficiency and bad results
  • e-Science based avlab make the collaborative observation online and real-time, and easy to coordinate the observation.
  • Scientists can share their results and ideas at real-time
  • Can eliminate the weather factor with several telescopes’ collaborative work
  • Can provide an easy share of telescopes and the observation results
telescope from 4 places
Telescope from 4 places

Xinglong Observatory

Shanghai sheshan

Huairou Observatory

Yunnan lijiang

open and stable services
Open and stable services
  • 7*24 stable service
  • Open to public, everyone can use and register
  • Now almost 80 scientists are registered
avlab support
avlab support
  • Apply for the use of

telescope online

  • Give a universal operation

interface for all telescope

  • Scientists can share ideas

to others online

duckling clb
Duckling & CLB
  • Document Collaboration
    • Wiki based document publishing, editing
    • Integrated with liferay communities
  • Document Sharing tools
    • File upload, lock, unlock, update
planning in future
Planning in Future
  • To develop Virtual Lab version 1.0
  • Popularize the VLAB environment

Vlab applications




Vlab framwork



Vlab proposal

planning in future1
Planning in Future
  • Select typical science areas to deploy Virtual Lab
    • Biology
    • Astronomy
    • High Energy Physics
    • ...
  • step by step, case by case, project by project and worldwide cooperation to actualize the e-Science of CAS
  • Need more international cooperations!
  • e-Science or science researches through cyberinfrastructure will be one of the main goals of CNIC,CAS in the next five years
  • e-Science need more international collaborations on cyberinfrastructure and e-Science applications
  • Merging scientific domain and IT, not only in IT technology and scientific knowledge, but also in human, e.g. e-scientist