Long Title: MUlti-disciplinary diStrIbuted Computing
Haute École Spécialisée de Suisse occidentale
Université de Genève
Hochschule Luzern
Domain: Grid
Status: finished
Start Date: 01.10.2011
End Date: 31.12.2012
Project Leader: N. Abdennadher

Main goal of this project was to provide a sustainable support and framework to gridify, deploy and execute scientific applications - coming from three different domains: life science, environment and art - on the Virtual EZ Grid platform.

(See also Virtual EZ-Grid)


Component Description
Project Dokumentation Project reports and meeting minutes
IFI, "images finding images" New AAI enabled graphical interface to GIFT software (access with AAI-account)
Bridging XWCH modules with ARC runtime environments ARC-XWCH bridge, internal report part 2: Running ARC jobs on the XtremWebCH volunteer computing platform, runtime environments

MUSIC has broadened the scope of distributed computing in the Swiss academia in three ways:

  1. Application porting: new applications in environmental sciences (Cyclone Track), genetics (selector, MetaPIGA) and art ("Images finding Images" based on GIFT at music.enterpriselab.ch).
  2. Ease of use: within MUSIC, we have extended a bridge software for linking a the XtremWebCH volunteer computing platform with the ARC grid middleware. Volunteer computing administrators can now publish their software applications to ARC so that they appear as ARC runtime environments. This is done by a webbased user interface.
  3. Combining volunteer computing and cloud computing: one of MUSIC's applications (MetaPIGA) runs on our volunteer computing software in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

For all applications ported on XWCH, execution times were significantly reduced. An example: in trial runs at University of Geneva, the analysis with the Selector application could be done 100 times more efficiently than before.
Within MUSIC, a new graphical user interface to the wellknown GIFT software was developed and deployed on a site that uses SWITCH Shibboleth authentication. The attractive design is used by artists with the aim of making it a platform for a Swiss Drawing Day.

The XWCH volunteer computing platform and the applications remain available for the Swiss academic community and they are actively used.


MUSIC aims at bringing together several Swiss higher education institutes by means of a shared high-performance computing platform called XtremWeb-CH (XWCH) utilised in the Virtual EZ Grid platform.
The concrete objectives are:

  1. extending and enriching the current XWCH platform set-up in the Virtual EZ Grid project,
  2. gridifying and deploying three scientific applications coming from three different disciplines: life science (phylogeny), environment and art,
  3. extending the ARC-XWCH bridge (developed in the Virtual EZ Grid project) so that the Run Time Environments (RTE) which are available for SMSCG users could be supported by the Virtual EZ Grid platform.

The project team will set up a set of software tools used to assist users to gridify, deploy, execute and monitor user applications. These tools will allow easy and relatively intuitive use of grid technology by the targeted communities. The tools will not be developed but "packaged".
The integration of the Virtual EZ Grid platform with the SMSCG Swiss grid platform will be strengthened by enhancing the interoperability of the two middlewares XWCH and ARC.
Three concrete scientific application targeting three different users communities (life science, environment and art) will be gridified and deployed:

  • MetaPIGA application (robust implementation of several stochastic heuristics for large phylogeny inference; handles nucleic-acid and protein datasets as well as morphological data)
  • Geospatial processing on a desktop Grid infrastructure (set up a Grid workflow for PREVIEW Global Risk Data Platform)
  • SmartPen - ImageRecognition - XWCH indexing (finding and storing image features; indexing of drawings created with penSmartPen and retrieving of images with GIFT).

The bridging with SMSCG comprises porting at least one SMSCG application into XWCH, and providing an improved ARC-XWCH adaptor that will show XWCH modules as ARC runtime environments.


The project aims at:

  • simplifying use and reducing "operating costs" of the Virtual EZ Grid platform,
  • bringing new scientific communities to use Grid technology and,
  • improving the integration of the XWCH platform in the SMSCG platform.

The scientific communities will profit by the gridfication of new applications, the resulting performance and availability, better usability and fail-over handling.
The integration of the desktop grid system into the national infrastructure will add value for both.