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Proceedings Paper

An electronic notebook for physical system simulation
Author(s): Robert L. Kelsey
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Paper Abstract

A scientist who sets up and runs experiments typically keeps notes of this process in a lab notebook. A scientist who runs computer simulations should be no different. Experiments and simulations both require a set-up process which should be documented along with the results of the experiment or simulation. The documentation is important for knowing and understanding what was attempted, what took place, and how to reproduce it in the future. Modern simulations of physical systems have become more complex due in part to larger computational resources and increased understanding of physical systems. These simulations may be performed by combining the results from multiple computer codes. The machines that these simulations are executed on are often massively parallel/distributed systems. The output result of one of these simulations can be a terabyte of data and can require months of computing. All of these things contribute to the difficulty of keeping a useful record of the process of setting up and executing a simulation for a physical system. An electronic notebook for physical system simulations has been designed to help document the set up and execution process. Much of the documenting is done automatically by the simulation rather than the scientist running the simulation. The simulation knows what codes, data, software libraries, and versions thereof it is drawing together. All of these pieces of information become documented in the electronic notebook. The electronic notebook is designed with and uses the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). XML facilitates the representation, storage, interchange, and further use of the documented information.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 September 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5091, Enabling Technologies for Simulation Science VII, (4 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.486067
Show Author Affiliations
Robert L. Kelsey, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5091:
Enabling Technologies for Simulation Science VII
Alex F. Sisti; Dawn A. Trevisani, Editor(s)

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