Nimrod Toolkit

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The Nimrod Toolkit

Parametric computational experiments are becoming increasingly important in science and engineering as a means of exploring the behavior of complex systems. For example, an engineer may explore the behaviour of a wing by running a computational model of the airfoil multiple times while varying key parameters such as angle of attack, air speed, etc. The results of these multiple experiments yield a picture of how the wing behaves in different parts of parametric space. Over the past several years, we have developed a specialized parametric modeling system called Nimrod. Nimrod uses a simple declarative parametric modeling language to express a parametric experiment and provides machinery that automates the task of formulating, running, monitoring, and collating the results from the multiple individual experiments. Equally important, Nimrod incorporates a distributed scheduling component that can manage the scheduling of individual experiments to idle computers in a local area network. Together, these features mean that even complex parametric experiments can be defined and run with little programmer effort. In many cases it is possible to establish a new experiment in minutes.

Tool Purpose
Nimrod/G provides two services: Parameter sweeps and grid/cloud execution tools including scheduling across multiple compute resources. A commercial version of Nimrod, called EnFuzion, is available for clusters from Axceleon 
Nimrod/O provides an optimisation framework for optimising a target output value of an application. Used with Nimrod/G, it can exploit parallelism in the search algorithm.
Nimrod/OI provides an interactive interface for Nimrod/O. In some applications, it might require someone to decide which output is better. Those results are fed back into Nimrod/O to produce more suggestions.
Nimrod/E provides experimental design techniques for analysing parameter effects on an application's output. Used with Nimrod/G allows the experiment to be scaled up on grid and cloud resources.
Nimrod/K provides all the Nimrod tools in a workflow engine called Kepler . Nimrod/K adds all the parameter tools and grid/cloud services to Kepler while leveraging and enhancing all the existing grid tools already provided by adding dynamic parallelism in workflows.

Nimrod supports workflows for robust design and search and allows scientists to:

  • Vary parameters
  • Execute programs
  • Copy data in and out

Other Features are:

  • Sequential and parallel dependencies
  • Multiple parameter exploration tools, including sweeps, optimizations and experimental designs
  • Computational economy drives scheduling
  • Computation scheduled near data when appropriate
  • Uses distributed high performance platforms
  • Upper middleware broker for resources discovery
  • Wide Community adoption
  • Cloud computing interface

Want to acknowledge us?

If you have used Nimrod for some research and would like to acknowledge it in your paper, we would welcome your use of the following text:

We wish to acknowledge Monash University for the use of their Nimrod software in this work. The Nimrod project has been funded by the Australian Research Council and a number of Australian Government agencies, and was initially developed by the Distributed Systems Technology CRC.

Nimrod Family references should cite: Abramson, D., Bethwaite, B., Enticott, C., Garic, S. and Peachey, T. “Parameter Exploration in Science and Engineering using Many-Task Computing”, Special issue of IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems on Many-Task Computing, June 2011, Volume: 22 Issue: 6, 960 – 973.

Nimrod/G references should cite: Abramson, D., Giddy, J. and Kotler, L. “High Performance Parametric Modeling with Nimrod/G: Killer Application for the Global Grid?”, International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS), pp 520- 528, Cancun, Mexico, May 2000

Nimrod/O references should cite: Abramson D, Lewis A, Peachey T, Fletcher, C., “An Automatic Design Optimization Tool and its Application to Computational Fluid Dynamics”, SuperComputing 2001, Denver, Nov 2001.

Nimrod/K references should cite: Abramson D, Enticott C, Altintas I., "Nimrod/K: Towards Massively Parallel Dynamic Grid Workflows", IEEE SuperComputing 2008, Austin, Texas November 2008