The Computing and Archiving Research Environment (CoARE), a project under the Department of Science and Technology - Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), held its first stakeholders forum with the theme "Collaborate to Innovate, Share to Contribute" last June 8, 2016 at the DOST-ASTI Building, UP Technopark Complex, Diliman, Quezon City.
For the previous DOST-ASTI CoARE fora, the aim is to garner more users. Now that the users are established, the focus now lies on the two important things for ASTI: collaboration and data sharing. DOST-ASTI CoARE has collaborated with different local and international institutions which are in need of the services offered: High-Performance Computing (HPC), Storage, and Cloud.
One of the institutions that utilizes the CoARE facility is the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). IRRI, through its 3,000 Rice Genomes (3KRG) Project, uses the data storage facility of the DOST-ASTI to archive its 120 terabytes of downloadable data. The 3KRG Project is an international effort to sequence 3,024 rice varieties from 89 countries. There are 124, 000 registered and incoming accessions from 117 countries, but only 5 % of the collection is used for IRRI breeding program.
IRRI uses Big Data in rice research. The challenge they have now is to meet yield target needed for population growth by 2050. To be able to reach this target, the use of Big Data is needed especially in rice research on sequence variation. Sequencing is important to know the quality and variant of the Oryza sativa (rice). Sequencing can help in visualizing the appearance of O. sativa and to know if it's drown tolerant or not. Also, characterization – planting to know what the grain looks like, costs more than sequencing. Archiving the 3KRG datasets in the CoARE facility has helped IRRI in cutting costs since the service is for free.
Also, one of the main applications of High-Performance Computing (HPC) service provided by CoARE is the Operational Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF). It is a project started by Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards - Weather Information Integration for System Enhancement (NOAH-WISE). Using HPC, atmospheric simulations using real data from observations and analyses can be generated. One of the benefits from WRF is the improvement of weather forecasting in the Philippines. During the forum, a visualization of the wind direction and humidity was shown to the stakeholders. The forum is one way to let the stakeholders know that the data for WRF is highly available.
Aside from the 3KRG and Operational WRF, two main applications of the CoARE services, the following data are available in the facility: data from ASTI sensor, HPC, Project NOAH, and Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA). This second quarter, there will also be upcoming data from Philippine Earth Data Resource Observation Center (PEDRO), Philippine Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN). These multiple data are then integrated and stored in the CoARE facility.
CoARE aims to gather datasets and make these publicly available. Through this, eventhose outside or not affiliated with the project can view or have access. The CoARE team is making a web portal open to users. The web portal can help simplify the discovery and use of datasets. In the catalog service, the two data sets (WRF and 3KRG) can be seen by users with the specified documentation (summary), access (link), date, creators and publishers. CoARE’s goal now is to gather more datasets to share it publicly through the catalog service.
DOST-ASTI Acting Director Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano acknowledged the importance of stakeholders input in sharing datasets publicly, common areas for collaboration and the future of CoARE in general. He also emphasized the considerable competence CoARE gained in grid computing, high-performance computing, and cloud computing for the past two years. Along with this message, CoARE Project Leader Rene Mendoza reminded everyone about the "not-invented-here" mentality. It is a mindset where an individual or organization dismisses external ideas or stance because of the belief that external ideas are no better than those that are developed internally. Hence, if it is not invented here, it is no good. Mendoza said that he hopes that the stakeholders continue to use the CoARE facility for it does not only benefit other researchers but the data center and the whole research and development industry as well.