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NTCC Software Standards. NTCC Modules Library Project 1998 -- 2004. NTCC historical Context. Modest OFES Project to modernize and improve availability of MFE fusion software: Transport models. Equilibrium, heating and current drive. Supporting tools (e.g. numerics, portability).

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Ntcc software standards

NTCC Software Standards

NTCC Modules Library Project 1998 -- 2004

D. McCune

Ntcc historical context
NTCC historical Context

  • Modest OFES Project to modernize and improve availability of MFE fusion software:

    • Transport models.

    • Equilibrium, heating and current drive.

    • Supporting tools (e.g. numerics, portability).

  • Standards were developed in 1998:

    • Coding practices, documentation.

    • Specification moderated by cost concerns.

  • Deliverables: subroutine libraries.

D. McCune

Ntcc modules library scope

Issues addressed:







Sharing of subroutine libraries.

NOT addressed:

Distribution of entire codes or systems.

High performance computing.

Distributed computing: secure services, etc.

Shared development.

Mixed language programming.

NTCC Modules Library Scope

D. McCune

Modules library assessment
Modules Library Assessment

  • Enabled sharing of important physics simulation software, but…

  • Successful sharing still involves a struggle:

    • Portability & build system issues.

    • Dependencies.

    • Low level consequences of use of mixed language programming on real systems…

  • Process to process distributed computing may present fewer engineering issues.

D. McCune

Example nubeam
Example: NUBEAM

  • PPPL (TRANSP) Monte Carlo Fast Ion Package.

    • Neutral beam injected fast ions.

    • Fusion product fast ions.

  • Successfully deployed at PPPL (TRANSP) and GA (ONETWO).

    • Also reported coupled to ASTRA at JET.

  • Test code adapted as NUBEAM “server”.

    • PPPL MPI implementation in progress.

D. McCune

Mpi parallel module server
MPI-Parallel Module Server

Serial TRANSP Run (Client #1)

Input File* Package, e.g.

XPLASMA** NetCDF state.

Server Queue

  • MPI-Parallel TRANSP

  • Module Server(s):

  • NUBEAM monte carlo

  • TORIC5 full wave

  • GenRAY ray tracing

  • CQL3D fokker planck

  • GCNM transp. solver

  • ... … …

Serial TRANSP Run (Client #2)

Output File* Package, e.g.

XPLASMA** NetCDF state.

Serial TRANSP Run (Client #3)

*viability of method depends on keeping files small.

Serial TRANSP Run (Client #N)

**NTCC container module for equilibrium, profiles, distribution functions, etc. (http://w3.pppl.gov/NTCC) to be used for Fusion Simulation Project prototype and tested in TRANSP deployment.


D. McCune

The ntcc software standards
The NTCC Software Standards

  • Complete standards and all NTCC modules at http://w3.pppl.gov/NTCC...

  • NTCC project included review process for enforcement of standards.

    • This was useful but expensive in labor.

  • Some recommendations were made voluntary: “goals” instead of “standards”.

    • Due to cost concerns.

D. McCune

Standard ntcc modules include

Full source code.

Test driver code.


Build instructions.

Use instructions.

Description of all I/O.

No imbedded graphics dependencies.

Missed goal warnings.



Precision control.

Error handling.

No dependence on licensed software.

Dynamic memory allocation.

Avoid hardwired LUNs.

Standard NTCC Modules include:

D. McCune

More ntcc standards goals


Contact Information.

Date of last revision.

Physics description with “range of validity”.

List of dependencies.

List of known bugs.

Documentation goals:

HTML documents.

Journal publication.

Goals for generated data files:

Provide i/o interface.

Use standard self-describing portable format (e.g. NetCDF).

Establish standards for physical units, grids, and names of items.

More NTCC Standards & Goals

D. McCune

Standards for ntcc users
Standards for NTCC Users

  • Acknowledge the work of NTCC authors.

  • Report bugs back to author or module contact person.

  • Return code improvements to module author or designated support person.

  • These standards were not enforced.

    • NTCC had no enforcement mechanism.

D. McCune


  • NTCC standards & NTCC experience very useful and productive.

  • NTCC not the last word.

  • Suggest review and refinement of standards for Fusion Simulation Project.

D. McCune