Federated Computing for the Masses: Understanding Fluid Flow

Overview of the Project:

We launched a large scale computational experiment aimed at understanding how to control fluid streams using a novel technique based on the idea of appropriately placing pillars to disrupt the flow. This experiment used a dynamically federated and geographically distributed HPC-Cloud infrastructure enabled by CometCloud.   The ability to control fluid streams at microscale has significant applications in many domains, including biological processing, guiding chemical reactions, and creating structured materials, to name just a few. Recently, it has been discovered that placing pillars of different dimensions, and at different offsets, allows "sculpting" the fluid flow in microchannels. The design and placement of sequences of pillars allows a phenomenal degree of flexibility to program the flow. However, to achieve such a control it is necessary to understand how flow is affected by different input parameters.

 As a result of this experiment, we obtained the most comprehensive data to date on the effect of pillars on microfluid channel flow. The success of this experiment also clearly demonstrates the capability, feasibility, and advantages of such a user-centered computational federation. In the experiment, a regular user was able to solve a large scale computational engineering problem, within just two weeks.


1) Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, Yu Xi – from the Computational Physics and Mechanics Laboratory at Iowa State University

2) Javier Diaz-Montes, Manish Parashar, Ivan Rodero, Jaroslaw Zola from  Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rutgers University

Relevant Publications:

1) HPC in the Cloud - http://www.hpcinthecloud.com/hpccloud/2013-05-22/cometcloud:_using_a_fed...

2) Digital Manufacturing Report - http://www.digitalmanufacturingreport.com/dmr/2013-05-22/understanding_f...