eSiMon Dashboard simulation tool released

Mar 01, 2011

Computational scientists have a new weapon at their disposal. On February 1, the Electronic Simulation Monitoring (eSiMon) Dashboard version 1.0 was released to the public, allowing scientists to monitor and analyze their simulations in real-time.

Developed by the and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah, North Carolina State University, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), this "window" into running simulations shows results almost as they occur, displaying data just a minute or two behind the simulations themselves. Ultimately, the Dashboard allows the scientists to worry about the "science" being simulated, rather than learn the intricacies of high-performance computing such as file systems and directories, an increasingly complex area as leadership systems continue to break the petaflop barrier.

"In my experience, Dashboard has been an essential tool for monitoring and controlling the large-scale from supercomputers," said Seung-Hoe Ku, an assistant research professor at New York University's Courant Institute of who uses the Dashboard to monitor simulations of hot, ionized gas at the edge of nuclear fusion reactors, an area of great uncertainty in a device that could one day furnish the world with a nearly limitless abundance of clean energy. "The FLASH interface provides easy accessibility with web browsers, and the design provides a simple and useful user experience. I have saved a lot of time for monitoring the simulation and managing the data using the Dashboard together with the EFFIS framework."

According to team member Roselyne Tchoua of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), the package offers three major benefits for computational scientists: first and foremost, it allows monitoring of the simulation via the web. It is the only single tool available that provides access and insight into the status of a simulation from any computer on any browser; second, it hides the low-level technical details from the users, allowing the users to ponder variables and analysis instead of computational elements; and finally, it allows collaboration between simulation scientists from different areas and degrees of expertise. In other words, researchers separated geographically can see the same data simultaneously and collaborate on the spot.

Furthermore, via easy clicking and dragging, researchers can generate and retrieve publication-quality images and video. Hiding the complexity of the system creates a lighter and more accessible web portal and a more inclusive and diverse user base.

The interface offers some basic features such as visualizing simulation-based images, videos and textual information. By simply dragging and dropping variable names from a tree view on the monitoring page onto the main canvas, users can view graphics associated with these variables at a particular time stamp. Furthermore, they can use playback features to observe the variables changing over time.

Researchers can also take electronic notes on the simulation as well as annotate movies. Other features include vector graphics with zoom/pan capabilities, data lineage viewing, and downloading processed and raw data onto local machines. Future versions will include hooks into external software and user-customized analysis and visualization tools.

"We are currently working on integrating the eSiMon application programming interface into an ADIOS method so that ADIOS users automatically get the benefit of monitoring their running simulation," said the OLCF's Scott Klasky, a leading developer of ADIOS, an open-source I/O performance library.

The "live" version of the dashboard is physically located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and can be accessed with an OLCF account at This version of the dashboard gives an overview of ORNL and National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center computers. Users can quickly determine which systems are up or down, which are busy and where they would like to launch a job. Users can also view the status of their running and past jobs as well as those of their collaborators.

However, a portable version of eSiMon is also available for any interested party, and the platform cuts across scientific boundaries so that the Dashboard can be used for any type of scientific . For information on acquiring and/or using the eSiMon dashboard, visit

Explore further: Dartmouth contests showcase computer-generated creativity

Related Stories

Jaguar upgrade brings ORNL closer to petascale computing

May 15, 2008

Upgrades to Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Jaguar supercomputer have more than doubled its performance, increasing the system’s ability to deliver far-reaching advances in climate studies, energy research, and a wide ...

ORNL Jaguar supercomputer surpasses 50 teraflops

Aug 25, 2006

An upgrade to the Cray XT3 supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the most powerful supercomputer available for general scientific research in the United States, has increased the system's computing ...

ORNL, Princeton partners in five-year fusion project

Sep 14, 2005

Knowledge gained by Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers and colleagues through an initiative to begin this fall could answer several long-standing questions and give the United States a competitive edge in the design ...

Twenty-two Projects Keep Supercomputer Super Busy

Oct 25, 2006

With 54 teraflops of computing power, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Cray XT3 is helping solve scientific grand challenges, but scheduling the many research projects and keeping the massive machine operating at peak capacity ...

Recommended for you

EU open source software project receives green light

Jul 01, 2015

An open source software project involving the University of Southampton to extend the capacity of computational mathematics and interactive computing environments has received over seven million euros in EU funding.

Can computers be creative?

Jul 01, 2015

The EU-funded 'What-if Machine' (WHIM) project not only generates fictional storylines but also judges their potential usefulness and appeal. It represents a major advance in the field of computational creativity.

Algorithm detects nudity in images, offers demo page

Jul 01, 2015

An algorithm has been designed to tell if somebody in a color photo is naked. launched earlier this month; its demo page invites you to try it out to test its power in nudity detection. You ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.