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Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to develop petascale computer modeling capabilities
Date:7/6/2009

ogical and computational scientists We anticipate unprecedented increases in scaling and execution speeds for computer processors in the years ahead. These improvements will make it possible to look in parallel at multiple diffusions and behaviors as they evolve and influence different interactions in these extremely large social networks. We hope to be able to resolve these large networks of interactions all the way down to the level of the individual. Representing the coupled and co-evolving aspects of the networks and their constituent elements is a significant computing challenge, one that needs to be met if we are to understand these complex socio-technical phenomena."

The collaborators will construct a petascale computational modeling environment MTML-Sim that will scale to billions of individuals and their social and information networks. The scaling will be achieved by developing innovative parallel algorithms as well as their implementations that will allow researchers to map the networks on petascale computing environments that are in the process of being built and deployed at places such as the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This environment will be used to test simultaneously multiple theories of social interaction amongst individuals and groups.

Noshir Contractor, the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the School of Engineering, School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Co-Principal Investigator on the proposal, remarked: "Petascale computer modeling will open up many exciting opportunities to explore global multidimensional social and knowledge networks. It will enable us to theorize, simulate, and empirically validate how these dynamic networks form and evolve. The insights from this research will have unprecedented relevance to the work of policy makers interested in studying and
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Contact: Barry Whyte
whyte@vbi.vt.edu
540-231-1767
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

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