VESTEC is a European funded H2020 project that builds a flexible toolchain for urgent decision making. It combines various data sources, extracts efficiently essential features, enables interactive supercomputing, and utilizes 3D visualization environments for interactive explorations of incidences by stakeholders and decision makers. VESTEC develops software solutions required for crises management in various areas, all of which have high impact on the European Community.
VESTEC develops and evaluates methods and interfaces to be integrated into high-performance data analytics processes. It merges supercomputer simulations with real-time data environments. Through interactive ensemble management, new simulations for new data will be started and statistically more accurate images of emerging, time-critical phenomena are created. Innovative data compression approaches, based on topological feature extraction and data sampling, can significantly reduce storage and processing requirements by discarding domain irrelevant data.
Exemplary use-cases for the VESTEC software
Three emerging use cases are selected to demonstrate the immense benefit for urgent decision making: wildfire monitoring and forecasting; analysis of risk associated with mosquito-borne diseases; and the effects of space weather on technical supply chains.
VESTEC brings together experts in extreme computing, massively parallel simulation codes, data analytics, and visualization to address the challenges holistically.
In autumn 2020, the technology was implemented and demonstrated on the first test scenario "Monitoring and Prediction of Forest Fires". For this purpose, real information from a forest fire in July 2020 near La Jonquera, Spain, was integrated. Based on this use case, the behavior of forest fires has been analyzed and evaluated: the development in small local hotspots, the spread to wildfire areas and the influence of weather conditions on the course of the fire.
More detailed information on the described pilot use case, published in a DLR press release in December 2020 (in German): "VESTEC – Interaktives Supercomputing für schnelle Entscheidungen in Notfallsituationen".
The DLR-Institute for Software Technology as project lead
The DLR-Institute for Software Technology leads the project as head coordinator. The institute participates in VESTEC with two departments. The department “Software for Space Systems and Interactive Visualization” develops in-memory visual analytics approaches to support decision-making and provide data reduction for exascale applications. The department “High-Performance Computing” contributes with its expertise in numerical algorithms, data analytics as well as software engineering and optimization approaches for extremely parallel systems.
Eventually, the supercomputing supported interactive evaluation workflow is assessed at the Earth Observation Center (EOC) in the department for geo-risks and civil security, which is operating the center for satellite-based crisis information (ZKI).