Technical Report 2

A Case Study in Preserving a High Energy Physics Application

Date: Spring 2014

Haiyan Meng, Matthias Wolf, Peter Ivie, Anna Woodard, Michael Hildreth, and Douglas Thain

View full report pdf

Abstract: The reproducibility of scientific results increasingly depends upon the preservation of computational artifacts. Although preserving a computation to be used later sounds easy, it is surprisingly difficult due to the complexity of existing soft- ware and systems. Implicit dependencies, networked resour- ces, and shifting compatibility all conspire to break applica- tions that appear to work well. To investigate these issues, we present a case study of a complex high energy physics application. We analyze the application and attempt sev- eral methods at extracting its dependencies for the purposes of preservation. We propose one fine-grained dependency management toolkit to preserve the application and demon- strate its correctness in two different environments - one virtual machine from the Notre Dame Cloud Platform and one virtual machine from the Amazon EC2 Platform. We report on the completeness, performance, and efficiency of each technique, and offer some guidance for future work in application preservation.

View full report pdf