International Symposium on Grids and Clouds
The International Symposium on Grids and Clouds (ISGC) 2017 will be held at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan from 5-10 March 2017, with co-located events and workshops. The main theme of ISGC 2017 is “Global Challenges: From Open Data to Open Science”.
The unprecedented progress in ICT has transformed the way education is conducted and research is carried out. The emerging global e-Infrastructure, championed by global science communities such as High Energy Physics, Astronomy, and Bio-medicine, must permeate into other sciences. Many areas, such as climate change, disaster mitigation, and human sustainability and well-being, represent global challenges where collaboration over e-Infrastructure will presumably help resolve the common problems of the people who are impacted. Access to global e-Infrastructure helps also the less globally organized, long-tail sciences, with their own collaboration challenges.
Open data are not only a political phenomenon serving government transparency; they also create an opportunity to eliminate access barriers to all scientific data, specifically data from global sciences and regional data that concern natural phenomena and people. In this regard, the purpose of open data is to improve sciences, accelerating specifically those that may benefit people. Nevertheless, to eliminate barriers to open data is itself a daunting task and the barriers to individuals, institutions and big collaborations are manifold.
Open science is a step beyond open data, where the tools and understanding of scientific data must be made available to whoever is interested to participate in such scientific research. The promotion of open science may change the academic tradition practiced over the past few hundred years. This change of dynamics may contribute to the resolution of common challenges of human sustainability where the current pace of scientific progress is not sufficiently fast.
ISGC 2017 created a face-to-face venue where individual communities and national representatives can present and share their contributions to the global puzzle and contribute thus to the solution of global challenges.
The International Symposium on Grids and Clouds (ISGC) 2016 will be held at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan from 13-18 March 2016, with co-located events and workshops. The conference is hosted by the Academia Sinica Grid Computing Centre (ASGC).
The theme of ISGC 2016 focuses on“Ubiquitous e-infrastructures and Applications”. Contemporary research is impossible without a strong IT component – researchers rely on the existence of stable and widely available e-infrastructures and their higher level functions and properties. As a result of these expectations, e-Infrastructures are becoming ubiquitous, providing an environment that supports large scale collaborations that deal with global challenges as well as smaller and temporal research communities focusing on particular scientific problems. To support those diversified communities and their needs, the e-Infrastructures themselves are becoming more layered and multifaceted, supporting larger groups of applications.
Following the call for the last year conference, ISGC 2016 continues its aim to bring together users and application developers with those responsible for the development and operation of multi-purpose ubiquitous e-Infrastructures. Topics of discussion include Physics (including HEP) and Engineering Applications, Biomedicine & Life Sciences Applications, Earth & Environmental Sciences & Biodiversity Applications, Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Applications, Virtual Research Environment (including Middleware, tools, services, workflow, etc.), Data Management, Big Data, Networking & Security, Infrastructure & Operations, Infrastructure Clouds and Virtualisation, Interoperability, Business Models & Sustainability, Highly Distributed Computing Systems, and High Performance & Technical Computing (HPTC), etc.
The aim of ISGC is to promote the use of grid and cloud computing in the Asia Pacific region. Over the 9 years that ISGC has been running, the programme has evolved to become more user community focused with subjects reaching out to a larger population. Research communities are making widespread use of distributed computing facilities. Linking together data centers, production grids, desktop systems or public clouds, many researchers are able to do more research and produce results more quickly. They could do much more if the computing infrastructures they use worked together more effectively. Changes in the way we approach distributed computing, and new services from commercial providers, mean that boundaries are starting to blur. This opens the way for hybrid solutions that make it easier for researchers to get their job done. Consequently the theme for ISGC2011 was the opportunities that better integrated computing infrastructures can bring, and the steps needed to achieve the vision of a seamless global research infrastructure.
2011 is a year of firsts for ISGC. First the title - while the acronym remains the same, its meaning has changed to reflect the evolution of computing: The International Symposium on Grids and Clouds. Secondly the programming - ISGC 2011 has always included topical workshops and tutorials. But 2011 is the first year that ISGC has been held in conjunction with the Open Grid Forum2 which held its 31st meeting with a series of working group sessions. The ISGC plenary session included keynote speakers from OGF that highlighted the relevance of standards for the research community. ISGC with its focus on applications and operational aspects complemented well with OGF’s focus on standards development. ISGC brought to OGF real-life use cases and needs to be addressed while OGF exposed the state of current developments and issues to be resolved if commonalities are to be exploited.
Another first is for the Proceedings – for 2011, an open access online publishing scheme will ensure these Proceedings will appear more quickly and more people will have access to the results, providing a long-term online archive of the event.
The symposium attracted more than 212 participants from 29 countries spanning Asia, Europe and the Americas. Coming so soon after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the participation of our Japanese colleagues was particularly appreciated. Keynotes by invited speakers highlighted the impact of distributed computing infrastructures in the social sciences and humanities, high energy physics, earth and life sciences. Plenary sessions entitled Grid Activities in Asia Pacific surveyed the state of grid deployment across 11 Asian countries.
Through the parallel sessions, the impact of distributed computing infrastructures in a range of research disciplines was highlighted. Operational procedures, middleware and security aspects were addressed in a dedicated sessions.
The symposium was covered online in real-time by the GridCast team from the GridTalk project. A running blog including summarises of specific sessions as well as video interviews with keynote speakers and personalities and photos.
As with all regions of the world, grid and cloud computing has to be prove it is adding value to researchers if it is be accepted by them and demonstrate its impact on society as a while if it to be supported by national governments, funding agencies and the general public. ISGC has helped foster the emergence of a strong regional interest in the earth and life sciences, notably for natural disaster mitigation and bioinformatics studies.
Prof. Simon C. Lin organised an intense social programme with a gastronomic tour of Taipei culminating with a banquet for all the symposium’s participants at the hotel Palais de Chine.
I would like to thank all the members of the programme committee, the participants and above all our hosts, Prof. Simon C. Lin and his excellent support team at Academia Sinica.
Dr. Bob Jones