e-Social Science: scaling up social scientific investigations Alex
e-Social Science: scaling up social scientific investigations Alex Voss, Andy Turner, Rob Procter National Centre for e-Social Science Gabor Terstyanszky, Gabor Szmetanko, Tamas Kiss CPC @ Westminster Presentation at ISGC 2009, Taipei, Taiwan, 2009-04-22. Overview
Scaling Issues Future Work Acknowledgements Background Much social science does not use advanced ICT but emergence of new analytical methods is driven by: Increased availability of data about social phenomena Issues with data management and integration Challenges to analyse social phenomena at scale Challenges to inform practical policy and decision making (e.g., evidence-based policy making) National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS) in the UK is investigating ways to respond to these challenges.
EUAsiaGrid is supporting e-Social Science amongst other application domains Introduction Virtual worlds rich in detail are being developed Digital representations (of parts) of Earth are being developed Necessarily generalised models Interact with the real world Socio-economic There can always be more detail Higher spatial and temporal resolution More and more detailed attributes Geography and social science is no different to any other type of science in this respect We are all geographers to some extent and we all interact
in some way with the object of study MoSeS Modeling and simulation approaches for social science First phase research node of NCeSS Core contemporary demographic model of the UK based on UK census data and other datasets Using agent-based simulation to project population forward in time by 25 years Explicitly model births, deaths, migration, changes in health status etc
Applications in transportation research, health and social care planning and business applications GENESIS Uses and builds on MoSeS A team involving experts in geovisualisation from UCL Two development strands Theoretic models based on restriction free data Models seeded with more restricted access data More theoretical Computational limits Investigating what visualisations are useful Considering how to do validation models Less emphasis on developing specific applications
Applications being considered in transportation planning Respond ad hoc to what is in the public interest Daily activity models Demographic Modelling I Generation of an individual level population data for the UK Based on 2001 census data Works with public release versions of census that are restricted, Census Aggregate Statistics (CAS) at Output Area Level 1% of population (anonymisation) Reconstructed data has same attributes as real population and same number of individuals but is still anonymised
Uses a genetic algorithm to select a well fitting set of sample of anonymised records to assign to an output area Need for attributes in the SAR to be matched with those in the CAS This is often complicated because of different categories Aggregation to a lowest common categorisation Demographic Modelling II Dynamic modelling Daily activity modelling Commuting Retail modelling Transportation Population Forecasting Annual time step
Birth Death Migration Experiences Integrating existing code into grid environment required some changes to source code management of input arguments code scalability log management error handling Finding the right input size and parameters for testing to keep execution times low Making sense of execution failures lack of ways to debug code in distributed environments
Experiences II Step-wise process works well, ensures we encounter problems piece by piece allows us to comply with data protection / licensing Population reconstruction is resource intensive may run up against limits on wall clock time Importance of at elbow support but hindered by data protection/licensing issues Licensing means we need to limit execution to UK resources Setting up VO to support secure sharing of data Organisation
Scaling Issues I Simulations Need to find ways to map to different architectures, both HPC and HTC Need to deal with large memory requirements and limitations imposed by OS, JVM and Java libraries Exploring Terracotta Distributing computation Virtual heap space
Dependability Advice would be very welcome Scaling Issues II Population model size and sophistication From town size to country size (and beyond) Number of variables Number of constraints Number of cores used To reduce runtime Need to go beyond using only one site Community Open development needs tool support Number of users requires hardening of code & documentation
Future Work Next steps until code runs in Taiwan with Taiwanese data Proof of concept execution on Quanta cluster at ASGC Definition of data outputs from Develop submission to exploit multiple NGS nodes and EGEE Compute Elements Improving data and code staging Moving from population reconstruction to supporting the simulation process Integration into science gateway for the social sciences and developing a repository for models Acknowledgements
National Centre for e-Social Science MoSeS Node: Mark Birkin (PI) GENeSIS Node: Mike Batty (PI) NCeSS Hub: Peter Halfpenny and Rob Procter EUAsiaGrid Consortium Marco Paganoni (Project Director)
CPC at Westminster University Gabor Szmetanko Gabor Terstyanszky Tamas Kiss GridPP Jens Jensen and Jeremy Coles National Grid Service Jason Lander and Shiv Kaushal (Leeds), Steven Young (Oxford), Mike Jones (Manchester)
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