Better Scientific Software
a tutorial presented at
ISC High Performance
on 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm CEST (UTC+2) Sunday 29 May 2022
Presenters: Anshu Dubey (Argonne National Laboratory) and Gregory R. Watson (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
This page provides detailed information specific to the tutorial event above. Expect updates to this page up to, and perhaps shortly after, the date of the tutorial. Pages for other tutorial events can be accessed from the main page of this site.
- Presentation Slides (FigShare)
- Hands-On Code Repository (GitHub)
On this Page
- Presentation Slides
- Hands-On Exercises
- Stay in Touch
- Other Software-Related Events at ISC22
- Resources from Presentations
- Requested Citation
The computational science and engineering (CSE) community is in the midst of an extremely challenging period created by the confluence of disruptive changes in computing architectures, demand for greater scientific reproducibility, and new opportunities for greatly improved simulation capabilities, especially through coupling physics and scales. Computer architecture changes require new software design and implementation strategies, including significant refactoring of existing code. Reproducibility demands require more rigor across the entire software endeavor. Code coupling requires aggregate team interactions including integration of software processes and practices. These challenges demand large investments in scientific software development and improved practices. Focusing on improved developer productivity and software sustainability is both urgent and essential.
This tutorial will provide information and hands-on experience with software practices, processes, and tools explicitly tailored for CSE. Goals are improving the productivity of those who develop CSE software and increasing the sustainability of software artifacts. We discuss practices that are relevant for projects of all sizes, with emphasis on small teams, and on aggregate teams composed of small teams. Topics include software licensing, effective models, tools, and processes for small teams (including agile workflow management), reproducibility, and scientific software testing (including automated testing and continuous integration).
|2:00 PM||0||Introduction and Setup||Anshu Dubey (ANL)|
|2:10 PM||1||Motivation and Overview of Best Practices in HPC Software Development||Anshu Dubey (ANL)|
|2:30 PM||2||Agile Methodologies||Gregory R. Watson (ORNL)|
|3:00 PM||3||Git Workflows||Gregory R. Watson (ORNL)|
|3:30 PM||4||Scientific Software Design||Anshu Dubey (ANL)|
|4:30 PM||5||Improving Reproducibility Through Better Software Practices||Gregory R. Watson (ORNL)|
|5:00 PM||6||Software Testing Introduction||Gregory R. Watson (ORNL)|
|5:20 PM||7||Continuous Integration||Gregory R. Watson (ORNL)|
|5:40 PM||8||Summary||Anshu Dubey (ANL)|
The latest version of the slides will always be available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.19781752.
Note that these files may include additional slides that will not be discussed during the tutorial, but questions are welcome.
The hands-on exercises for this tutorial are based around a simple numerical model using the one-dimensional heat equation. The example is described briefly in the repository’s README file, and in greater detail in the ATPESC Hands-On lesson. The ATPESC version focuses on the numerical aspects of the model.
But for this tutorial, we’re focused on how to make the software better from a quality perspective, so you don’t need to understand the math to do these exercises.
For the purposes of these hands-on exercises, you should imagine you’ve inherited an early version of the hello-numerical-world software from a colleague who’s left the project, and you’ve been assigned to get it into better shape so that it can be used in the next ATPESC summer school.
The repository you’ll be working with is: bssw-tutorial/hello-numerical-world-2022-05-29-isc.
Note: most of the screenshots will refer to the generic “hello-numerical-world” repository rather than the one specifically for this event.
List of Hands-On Exercises
Note that not every presentation module has exercises (yet).
- Setting up the Prerequisites. Setup the accounts needed for these exercises.
- Agile Methodologies. You’ll use GitHub issues and project boards to setup a simple “personal kanban” board.
- Basic Git for Collaboration. You’ll fork our hello-numerical-world repository, create a feature branch, and make a pull request
- Software Testing. You’ll use an example project to try out using test driven development to add new functionality to a project
- Continuous Integration. You’ll establish a simple continuous integration workflow and then refine it, adding code coverage assessment
There are also activities associated with a couple of modules that we didn’t have time to cover in this tutorial. You are welcome to try them out too.
- Agile Redux. You’ll create epic, story, and task issues for the refactoring task and track them on a kanban board
- Refactoring Scientific Software. You’ll perform a small, well-defined refactoring exercise
Stay in Touch
After the tutorial please feel free to email questions or feedback to the BSSw tutorial team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to do the hands-on exercises, we’re happy to provide feedback on your pull requests and issues, even after the end of the tutorial.
To find out about future events organized by the IDEAS Productivity Project, you can subscribe to our mailing list (usually ~2 messages/month).
For monthly updates on the Better Scientific Software site, subscribe to our monthly digest.
Other Software-Related Events at ISC22
If you’re interested in this tutorial, you might be interested in this list of other software-related events taking place in the ISC22 conference.
Resources from Presentations
Links from the tutorial presentations are listed here for convenience
- Module 0: Introduction and Setup
- Module 1: Motivation and Overview of Best Practices in HPC Software Development
- Best Practices for Scientific Computing
- Good Enough Practices in Scientific Computing
- Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) Best Practices Badging Program
- Rate Your Project Assesment Tool
- Progress Tracking Card (PTC) Examples
- Productivity and Sustainability Improvement Planning
- Better Scientific Software (BSSw)
- Module 2: Agile Methodologies
- Agile Manifesto
- Personal Kanban
- Personal Kanban for productivity
- A-team tools for Agile practices
- Module 3: Git Workflows
- Module 4: Scientific Software Design
- The Exascale Computing Project (ECP)
- Findings from the ECP Performance Portability Panel Series
- Performance Portability and the Exascale Computing Project
- Kokkos Lecture Series
- Related paper: A Design Proposal for a Next Generation Scientific Software Framework
- Related webinar: Software Design for Longevity with Performance Portability
- Module 5: Improving Reproducibility Through Better Software Practices
- Motivations and Background:
- Definitions, Guidelines, and Organizations:
- National Science Foundation Data Management Plan Requirements
- Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable
- SC21 Reproducibility Initiative
- ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software (TOMS)
- ACM Artifact Review and Badging
- National Information Standards Organization (NISO) on Reproducibility and Badging
- Helpful Tools
- Floating Point Analysis Tools
- Code Ocean (Cloud platforms - publish and reproduce research code and data)
- DOIs and hosting of data, code, documents:
- Other Resources:
- The FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship. Mark D. Wilkinson, et al. 2016
- Editorial: ACM TOMS Replicated Computational Results Initiative. Michael A. Heroux. 2015
- Enhancing Reproducibility for Computational Methods. Victoria Stodden, Marcia McNutt, David H. Bailey, Ewa Deelman, Yolanda Gil, Brooks Hanson, Michael A. Heroux, John P.A. Ioannidis, Michela Taufer Science (09 Dec 2016), pp. 1240-1241. DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6168
- Simple experiments in reproducibility and technical trust by Mike Heroux and students (work in progress)
- What every scientist should know about floating-point arithmetic. David Goldberg.
- Module 6: Software Testing Introduction
- Python Build and Test Framework: pyscaffold.org
- Build-Link-Test CMake Framework: llnl-blt.readthedocs.io
- Tutorials for code coverage: Online Tutorial, Another example
- Test drive development example
- CMake Tutorial
- CMake add-test command documentation
- Verification and Validation in Scientific Computing
- Working Effectively with Legacy Code
- Module 7: Continuous Integration
- Gitlab CI/CD Concepts
- Module 8: Summary
- COVID-19 epidemiology saga
- Productivity and Sustainability Improvement Planning
- Write to the tutorial authors
- Tutorial Material Online
- IDEAS Productivity project
- Better Scientific Software site
- COVID-19 epidemiology saga
The requested citation the overall tutorial is:
Anshu Dubey and Gregory R. Watson, Better Scientific Software tutorial, in ISC High Performance, Hamburg, Germany, and online, 2022. DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.19781752.
Individual modules may be cited as Speaker, Module Title, in Better Scientific Software tutorial…
This tutorial is produced by the IDEAS Productivity project.
This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), and by the Exascale Computing Project (17-SC-20-SC), a collaborative effort of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration.