MCell is a general Monte Carlo simulator of cellular microphysiology. MCell uses Monte Carlo diffusion and chemical reaction algorithms in 3D to simulate the complex biochemical interactions of molecules inside and outside of living cells. MCell is a collaborative effort between the Terry Sejnowski lab at the Salk Institute, and the Miriam Salpeter lab at Cornell University.

NetSolve is very well suited to MCell's need and this project aims at writing a NetSolve-based framework to support large MCell runs. One of the central pieces of that framework is a scheduler that takes advantage of MCell input data requirements to minimize turn-around time. This scheduler is part of the larger AppLeS at the University of California, San Diego. The use of NetSolve isolates the scheduler from the resource-management details and allows researchers to focus only on the design of the scheduler.

This collaboration was exhibited at SuperComputing '99 in Portland, Oregon, where on the exhibit floor, members of the NetSolve, MCell, and AppLeS teams, harnessed the resources of over a hundred global area network computers. These computers had a total of more than 150 nodes, and were located on six continents in different countries, states, and organizations. On the floor, a simulation that required 360 independent tasks was run, but this same setup has been used to achieve simulations using thousands of tasks, running on even more machines. Here is a photograph of the demonstration.

Researcher: Michelle Miller ( )
Institution: Innovative Computing Laboratory

Related Work


Additional Applications


  Innovative Computing Laboratory
Contact NetSolve: Computer Science Department
  University of Tennessee