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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.

Recommendations:

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.

Participants:

Dave Gill 

gill@ucar.edu

Erik Kluzek

erik@ucar.edu

Tony Craig 

tcraig@ucar.edu

Clifford Chen 

cliffc@fujitsu.com

Pat Worley   

worleyph@ornl.gov

Doug Rotman               

drotman@llnl.go

Lawrence Buja            

southern@ucar.edu

Woo-Sun Yang            

wyang@lbl.gov

Tony Drummond            

ladrummond@lbl.gov

Art Mirin                      

mirin@llnl.gov

Will Sawyer                  

sawyer@dao.gsfc.nasa.gov

Byron Boville                

boville@ucar.edu

Robert Jacob               

jacob@mcs.anl.gov

Jay Larson                    

larson@mcs.anl.gov

Everest Ong                 

eong@mcs.anl.gov

Cecelia DeLuca            

cdeluca@ucar.edu

Peter Gent                    

gent@ucar.edu

Brian Kauffman            

kauff@ucar.edu

Mariana Vertenstein     

mvertens@ucar.edu

Keith Lindsay               

klindsay@ucar.edu

Dave Williamson            

wmson@ucar.edu

Bill Large                      

wily@ucar.edu

Matthew Hecht            

hecht@ucar.edu

Bob Malone                 

rcm@lanl.gov

John Drake                   

drakejb@ornl.gov

Phil Jones                     

pwjones@lanl.gov

Sue Mniszewski            

smm@lanl.gov

John Taylor                  

jtaylor@mcs.anl.gov

Ricky Rood             

rrood@dao.gsfc.nasa.gov