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  Software Engineering Working Group Meeting Report
14-15 February 2002 at NCAR, Boulder, CO

           Co-Chairs Ricky Rood, Tony Craig, and Cecelia DeLuca


The Software Engineering Working Group (SEWG) addressed the following issues during its February meeting:  

Current versions of these documents described in this report are available on the CCSM Software Engineering Working Group web page: http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/working_groups/Software.

Ricky Rood opened the meeting by revisiting the rationale for the formation of the SEWG.  The SEWG was conceived as a bridge between the high performance computing (HPC) environment and scientific development of the CCSM.  It was intended to formally give the CCSM software development team and those with an interest in the computational aspects of the model a forum for discussion and a voice in model development.

The creation of the NCAR CSEG group, with Tony Craig as its Software Engineering Manager, necessitates reevaluating the SEWG mission since  CSEG has been actively and increasingly managing the software engineering aspects of the CCSM project.    Cecelia DeLuca presented a draft mission statement for the SEWG.  The statement was discussed and revised at this meeting to include the following SEWG activities: providing guidance and advocacy relating to the procedural and technical aspects of software development; integrating the activities of a number of groups with an interest or investment in CCSM software; and serving as a liaison to the community, to external computer science and software engineering efforts, and to management. 

Tony Craig presented strategies whereby the CSEG group is attempting to introduce more effective software management tools and processes.  These include a bug tracking system, configuration management policies, and CCSM and component change review boards (CRBs).  CRBs  were defined as panels charged with approving changes, both technical and scientific, to CCSM software.  Details are described in the CSEG Software Engineering Coordination Plan.   

Brian Kauffman continued the topic of process improvement in his discussion of the software engineering training that the CSEG group received from the Construx company during December 2001.  The CSEG group has drafted an "action plan" to implement Construx strategies.  Brian focused on the concept of project charters, which include the purpose of a project, its stakeholders, and its management structure.  As part of the "action plan," the CSEG group intends to ask each CCSM component team to draft one.

Lawrence Buja presented a status report on the CCSM-2 release.  The model is currently being tested on IBM, SGI, and Compaq platforms, and is running on 128 PEs of the IBM at NERSC at 53 sec/day.  The scheduled release date is 17 May 2002. 

Pat Worley presented DOE/NCAR improvements to the CAM.  Work completed includes splitting the physics and dynamics of the model, introducing new physics data structures, extending the finite volume dynamical core (FV dycore) to 2-D, and enabling history writes in multiple precisions.  Ongoing and future activities include improving the physics and dynamics interface, adding dynamical load balancing to physics, and improving transpose efficiency.  Pat also showed performance gains attributable to decomposing model data in chunks.

Brian Kauffman presented a progress report on the Next Generation Coupler, or cpl6.  High level cpl6 datatypes have been defined, the interface to component models has been finalized, and the history and mapping modules have been constructed.  Timing tests are underway.  An aggressive, three-phase schedule has been developed that calls for the completion of the beta cpl6 by June 2002. 

Cecelia DeLuca presented an update on the ESMF project, whose funding has recently begun.  The ESMF is currently collecting software requirements and will hold a community requirements review meeting concurrently with the Spring AGU Meeting in Washington on 30 May 2002.

Topics addressed during open sessions included the practical aspects of implementing new procedures, the projected relationship between charter statements regarding organizational structure and existing CCSM structures, such as the SSC and working groups, the impact of CRBs on science decisions, the interaction of assorted software plans, and the interaction of SciDAC and ESMF projects as they relate to the CCSM coupler.

Actions and Activities:

SEWG will meet about 4 times per year and meetings will be topic-focused.  Some meetings may be held in conjuction with SciDAC or ESMF and may be held via the Access Grid.

The following documents will be available by the June 2002 CCSM Workshop:

- An updated 5-Year Software Engineering Plan, which outlines a high-level software strategy for the CCSM. 
- A consolidated document that encompasses the Construx "action plan" and CSEG Software Engineering Coordination Plan. 
- A revised version of the SEWG mission statement.


Recommend proceeding with project charters but keeping the focus on software engineering; for example, request that groups describe the software management of their component rather than project/science management. Support changes to configuration management policies and recommend some project-level consolidation of code changes before interaction with CCSM gatekeepers.  Recommend proceeding with CRBs but advise further consultation with SSC and other working groups. Recommend regular software engineering presentations at meetings of other CCSM working groups.


Dave Gill 


Erik Kluzek


Tony Craig 


Clifford Chen 


Pat Worley   


Doug Rotman               


Lawrence Buja            


Woo-Sun Yang            


Tony Drummond            


Art Mirin                      


Will Sawyer                  


Byron Boville                


Robert Jacob               


Jay Larson                    


Everest Ong                 


Cecelia DeLuca            


Peter Gent                    


Brian Kauffman            


Mariana Vertenstein     


Keith Lindsay               


Dave Williamson            


Bill Large                      


Matthew Hecht            


Bob Malone                 


John Drake                   


Phil Jones                     


Sue Mniszewski            


John Taylor                  


Ricky Rood