New R tool with access to thousands of processors available to Purdue researchers

October 25, 2012

A new Web-based R tool now available to Purdue faculty and their students through an accessible graphical interface and Purdue’s DiaGrid distributed computing system will be demonstrated in a November presentation by ITaP research computing staff.

The SubmitR tool on DiaGrid can make thousands of processors available at once for R computing jobs, a particular advantage for tasks like parameter sweeps, which can take advantage of a large processor pool.

The demonstration is set for 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, in Stewart Center, Room 204. For this time only, it will take the place of ITaP’s regular research computing “Coffee Break Consultation” in the Purdue Memorial Union.

Registration isn’t required but those who plan to attend are asked to register so adequate refreshments can be ordered. To register, go to info@diagrid.org.

The new tool is on Purdue’s DiaGrid hub web portal at http://diagrid.hubzero.org. DiaGrid and SubmitR are available at no cost to Purdue users.

R is a software environment used by statisticians, economists, engineers, scientists and others to explore and mine data sets statistically in a variety of ways and to create publication-quality graphics from results.

The DiaGrid hub R tool is being developed by ITaP research computing staff members Rob Campbell and Kevin Chen.

Campbell says SubmitR, while functional now, is still in for further development. The developers are looking for feedback from users on things they would like to see added.

In addition to jobs that can take advantage of numerous processors like parameter sweeps, R on DiaGrid also can be good for large, long-running jobs because the DiaGrid pool features an extensive time limit, Chen says. Even advanced R users may benefit from SubmitR’s ease of use.

DiaGrid taps idle processors in offices, student computer labs, cluster supercomputers and more. It is based on the Condor distributed computing system, which works by pooling machines over the Purdue campus network and off campus via the Internet and fast research networks.

The DiaGrid hub is built on Purdue’s HUBzero platform, http://hubzero.org, which is designed to make high-level computational research software and access to high-performance and cloud computing about as easy as using a Web browser.

Originally posted: October 25, 2012