Principal Investigators:
 Randy Levensalor (951-9407)


Network Programming Interface Builder (NPIB)



The type of simulation and modeling that has been made possible by scientific supercomputers has proven invaluable for engineers. However, the user interface for these supercomputers often present problems to engineering students. The operating systems on these machines are typically UNIX-based with a command-line interface, which can prove intimidating to engineer students. Also, the input files for the simulation programs are cryptic, with rigid formats.


In addition to the challenges posed by the interface itself, the logistics of running the simulation itself on these supercomputers tends to be difficult. Many of these engineering simulations requires programs to be run on multiple machines, and often a user has to execute a series of repetitive tasks just to change one or two parameters for a different simulation run.


With this technique of running the simulations, it is difficult to archive numerous runs of the simulations. Additionally, it is often desirable to make the simulation runs accessible to other people, especially those with no accessing to the supercomputer used to run the simulation.



The goal of this project is to provide a platform-independent, and low-maintainace tool that will make the experience of using these scientific supercomputers simplier.


 To achieve this goal, I will develop a tool for creating web interfaces for engineering simulation programs. This tool will:


1.) Provide a GUI  WYSIWYG  tool for creating a web-accessible form that can be used to submit data to a simulation program. This GUI-builder tool will also allow the user to create forms with data-formatting functionality.


2.) Provide functionality to take the input for a web form and create files on the web server, and execute the simulation using the input from the form.


3.) Provide real-time status on the simulation execution via a web page. Additionally, this tool will email the user a web link for the results when the simulation execution has completed.


4.) This tool will archive all simulation runs in an organized and browseable manner.


 This program will be developed using Java SDK, Expect, shell scripts, and a CGI-enables web server.


Project Timeline and Milestones:
The project will be completed by May 11th, 2001.


Transfer html file via CGI
Create input files on web server
Execute locally w/ config file
Execute remotely w/ ssh
Conditions for lines (line a>4)
Fix bugs in interface