Oral Presentation Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017

AlgoCompute: large-scale calibration and uncertainty analysis made easy in the cloud (#150)

Damian Merrick 1
  1. HydroAlgorithmics, Canberra, ACT, Australia

AlgoCompute is a new web-based platform that makes it easy to perform simulation runs in the cloud. It allows scaling out to any desired number of compute nodes, which is particularly valuable when undertaking complex uncertainty analysis, calibration or optimisation tasks. AlgoCompute is accessed through a web browser: you log in, provide it with your model files, initiate new runs, and monitor ongoing runs.

The system is designed to integrate well with PEST, and the platform automates the setup and pull-down of appropriate processing resources, distribution of model data and results, and coordination of PEST slaves. For model runs, various versions of MODFLOW are provided, from MODFLOW-96 through -2005, -NWT and -USG, in addition to HydroGeoSphere for integrated modelling.

The web interface allows monitoring of console outputs from each simulation instance to check on progress, and email notifications may be sent whenever a run is completed, or each time a new optimisation iteration is reached in a PEST optimisation. Runs may be terminated manually at any time. On completion of a run, model result files are made available in AlgoCompute's cloud storage system, allowing them to be downloaded directly from the web interface or transferred to a Dropbox folder to be automatically synchronised with desktop or laptop computers, ready for inspection and post-processing with other tools.

AlgoCompute's access to cloud resources is entirely self-contained: users do not need to maintain their own accounts with a public cloud provider, nor to provision their own virtual machines for running models or write scripts to start, stop and monitor progress. Additionally, being completely web-based means that no custom software installations are required, allowing modellers to access the system with minimal support from IT personnel.

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