Scientific Programme

The International Symposium on Grids and Clouds (ISGC) 2018 in conjunction with Frontiers in Computational Drug Discovery (FCDD) will be held at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan from 16-23 March 2018, with co-located events and workshops. The main theme of ISGC 2018 is “Understanding Open Data: Challenges and Opportunities in the Deep Learning Era”. The global move towards an Open science and its Open data policy is bringing its first results in opening access to fast growing base of scientific data. This leads to a new set of challenges for the e-infrastructures expected to be the Open Science foundations. They must deal with new demands in traditional areas of their expertise: increase storage and computing capacity, simultaneous access to different pools and warehouses of scientific data, strong access control for sensitive data and many other things at scale levels of magnitude higher than before. On top of that, increased amount of accessible Open data brings also new challenges, most notably how to understand and interpret the fast growing base of available scientific data. Machine learning and specifically deep learning techniques are currently the most promising general answers to this challenge. However, to deploy these techniques at scale of global e-infrastructures is a highly challenging task, pushing forwards the limits of technology, management and operation. The goal of ISGC 2018 in conjunction with Frontiers in Computational Drug Discovery (FCDD) is to create a face-to-face venue where individual communities and national representatives can present and share their contributions to the global puzzle and contribute thus to the solution of global challenges. We cordially invite and welcome your participation!
  • Towards a Digital Approach to Cultural Heritage Conservation, Documentation and Communication From Cyberinfrastructures to Science Clouds
    The trend for data publication, sharing and re-using is nowadays influencing all scientific domains and may have a dramatic impact on the documentation, conservation and communication of Cultural Heritage too. Solving issues such as the discoverability of published data, their interoperability, integration and open access may foster data re-use and improve the quality and extent of scientific research on CH, also supporting its communication and citizens’ understanding and participation. Progress in digital research is a key factor of this new paradigm and cloud services appear to be potentially disruptive in creating a data-based scientific approach to heritage sciences. The symposium will address current achievements, policies, and strategies with a global perspective, presenting state-of-the-art examples of how digital technologies have been successfully applied to heritage conservation, documentation and communication.
  • Physics (including HEP) and Engineering Applications
    Submissions should report on experience with physics and engineering applications that exploit grid and cloud computing services, applications that are planned or under development, or application tools and methodologies. Topics of interest include: (1) End-user data analysis; (2) Management of distributed data; (3) Applications level monitoring; (4) Performance analysis and system tuning; (5) Workload scheduling; (6) Management of an experimental collaboration as a virtual organization; (7) Comparison between grid and other distributed computing paradigms as enablers of physics data handling and analysis; (8) Expectations for the evolution of computing models drawn from recent experience handling extremely large and geographically diverse datasets.
  • Biomedicine & Life Sciences Applications
    During the last decade, research in Biomedicine and Life Sciences has dramatically changed thanks to the continuous developments in High Performance Computing and highly Distributed Computing Infrastructures such as grids and clouds, but also in big-data solutions to deal with the explosion in genomic data. This track aims at discussing problems, solutions and application examples related to this area of research, with a particular focus on non-technical end users. Submissions should concentrate on practical applications and solutions in the fields of Biomedicine and Life Sciences, such as Drug discovery, Structural biology, Bioinformatics, Medical imaging, Public health applications / infrastructures, High throughput (grid and cloud-based) data processing/analysis, Distributed data computing and services, and Big data management issues. Submissions should ideally highlight how the availability and use of Big Data has enabled new processes for or dramatically evolved the scope of their research.
  • Earth & Environmental Sciences & Biodiversity Applications
    Natural and Environmental sciences are placing an increasing emphasis on the understanding of the Earth as a single, highly complex, coupled system with living and dead organisms. It is well accepted, for example, that the feedbacks involving oceanic and atmospheric processes can have major consequences for the long-term development of the climate system, which in turn affects biodiversity, natural hazards and can control the development of the cryosphere and lithosphere. Natural disaster mitigation is one of the most critical regional issues in Asia Despite the diversity of environmental sciences, many projects share the same significant challenges. These include the collection of data from multiple distributed sensors (potentially in very remote locations), the management of large low-level data sets, the requirement for metadata fully specifying how, when and where the data were collected, and the post-processing of those low-level data into higher-level data products which need to be presented to scientific users in a concise and intuitive form. This session would in particular address how these challenges are being handled with the aids of e-Science paradigm.
  • Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Application
    Disciplines across the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) have critically engaged with technological innovations such as grid- and cloud computing, and, most recently, various data analytic technologies. The increasing availability of 'born digital' data has led to an increasing interest in analysis methods such as natural language processing, social network analysis, machine learning and text mining. These developments pose challenges as well as opening up opportunities and members of the HASS community have been at the forefront of discussions about the impact that novel forms of data, novel computational infrastructures and novel analytical methods have for the pursuit of science endeavours and our understanding of what science is and can be. The ISGC 2018 HASS track invites papers and presentations covering applications demonstrating the opportunities of new technologies or critically engaging with their methodological implications in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. We also invite contributions that critically reflect on the following subjects: (1) the impact that ubiquitous and mobile access to information and communication technologies have for society more generally, especially around topics such as smart cities, civic engagement, and digital journalism; (2) philosophical and methodological reflections on the development of the techniques and the approaches by which data scientists use to pursue knowledge.
  • Virtual Research Environment (including Middleware, tools, services, workflow, ... etc.)
    Virtual Research Environments (VRE) provide an intuitive, easy-to-use and secure access to federated computing resources for solving scientific problems, trying to hide the complexity of the underlying infrastructure, the heterogeneity of the resources, and the interconnecting middleware. Behind the scenes, VREs comprise tools, middleware and portal technologies, workflow automation as well a security solutions for layered and multifaceted applications. Topics of interest include but are not limited to: (1) Real-world experiences building and/or using VREs to gain new scientific knowledge; (2) Middleware technologies, tools, services beyond the state-of-the-art for VREs; (3) Innovative technologies to enable VREs on arbitrary devices, including Internet-of-Things; and (4) One-step-ahead workflow integration and automation in VREs.
  • Big Data & Data Management
    The rapid growth of the data available to scientists and scholars – in terms of Velocity and Variety as well as sheer Volume – is transforming research across disciplines. Increasingly these data sets are generated not just through experiments, but as a byproduct of our day-to-day digital lives. This track explores the consequences of this growth, and encourages submissions relating to two aspects in particular: firstly, the conceptual models and analytical techniques required to process data at scale; secondly, approaches and tools for managing and creating these digital assets throughout their lifecycle.
  • Networking, Security, Infrastructure & Operations
    Networking and the connected e-Infrastructures are becoming ubiquitous. Ensuring the smooth operation and integrity of the services for research communities in a rapidly changing environment are key challenges. This track focuses on the current state of the art and recent advances in these areas: networking, infrastructure, operations, and security. The scope of this track includes advances in high-performance networking (software defined networks, community private networks, the IPv4 to IPv6 transition, cross-domain provisioning), the connected data and compute infrastructures (storage and compute systems architectures, improving service and site reliability, interoperability between infrastructures, data centre models), monitoring tools and metrics, service management (ITIL and SLAs), and infrastructure/systems operations and management. Also included here are issues related to the integrity, reliability, and security of services and data: developments in security middleware, operational security, security policy, federated identity management, and community management. Submissions should address solutions in at least one of these areas.
  • Infrastructure Clouds and Virtualisation
    This track will focus on the use of cloud computing, mainly but not exclusively Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and virtualization technologies in large-scale distributed computing environments in science and technology. We solicit papers describing underlying virtualization and "cloud" technology, scientific applications and case studies related to using such technology in large scale infrastructure as well as solutions overcoming challenges and leveraging opportunities in this setting. Of particular interest are results exploring usability of virtualization and infrastructure clouds from the perspective of scientific applications, the performance, reliability and fault-tolerance of solutions used, data management issues. Papers dealing with the cost, price, and cloud markets, with security and privacy, as well as portability and standards, are also most welcome.
  • Funding, Sustainability and Business Models
    Fundamental issue for any infrastructure is the sustainable funding of its operation, further development and eventual expansion when needs arises. This is even more complex problem in case of distributed e-infrastructures, intrinsically going beyond funding boundaries of the different stakeholders or offering services free at the point of use worldwide. Proper strategy, policy and eventually business models are needed to secure the sustainability of the e-infrastructure, making it a trustworthy partner for research communities. This track seeks contributions relevant to these problems, particularly (i) Planning strategies and methodologies for sustainable funding (ii) Business models complementing or replacing the standard funding schemes (iii) Policies for financial engagement of research communities using/relying on the e-Infrastructure, including pay-per-use models (iv) Global strategies for global research communities (e.g. e-Infrastructures for global collaborations).
  • Science Gateways, Long Tail of Science, and Volunteer and Massively Distributed Computing
    This track welcomes contributions dealing with technologies, concepts and applications that support management of and easy access to very large distributed systems, desktop grids and resources provided through volunteer (unguaranteed) computing. Special focus will be on support of the long tail of science, making the ad hoc provided resources available to small teams or even individual researchers. Science gateways and other kinds of portals, specific interfaces to connect and use the systems, but also new ways how to contribute and to combine volunteered and institutional computing resources are expected. The topics cover new technologies of related software frameworks, recent application developments, as well as infrastructure operation and user support techniques. Special focus will be on the (1) Interoperability with other and integration in other e-infrastructures, esp. via Science gateways and other kinds of portals (2) Data management and (3) Quality of service in such environments (4) Novel uses of volunteer computing and Desktop Grid (5) Best practices and (social) impacts.
  • High Throughput Accelerator Technologies, Supercomputing and their Integration
    There is a growing availability of powerful computing resources using a combination of general purpose, accelerators, GPGPUs and many-core processors, available through public grids (e.g., EGI and OSG) and public/private clouds (e.g., Amazon EC2), as well as through coordinated access to supercomputing resources (e.g. PRACE). Using, accessing, aggregating and managing these High Performance and High Throughput Computing (HPTC) infrastructures, whose components are under control by different resource providers, is still quite challenging. This session solicits recent research and development achievements and best practices in exploiting these computing resources available around the world. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to the followings: (1) Use of virtualization techniques (including containers) to support access to and portability across different heterogeneous (HPTC) systems (2) Delivery of and access to heterogeneous HPTC resources through grid and cloud computing (as a Service models) (3) Experiences, use cases and best practices on the development and operation of large-scale HPTC applications (4) Integration and interoperability to support coordinated federated use of different HPTC e-infrastructures (5) Robustness and reliability of HPTC applications and systems over a long-time scale.