6 Jul 2015

DAS-5 is now fully operational! To make room for DAS-5, DAS-4/UvA and DAS-4/ASTRON have been decomissioned, only their headnodes remain available.

28 Oct 2014

The Hadoop setup on DAS-4/VU has been updated to version 2.5.0.

30 Jan 2014

The Intel OpenCL package for Intel CPU's and Xeon Phi has been updated to version 3.2.1.

3 Sep 2013

The Nvidia CUDA development kit has been updated to version 5.5.

25 April 2013

Slides of the DAS-4 workshop presentations are now available.

14 Jan 2013

DAS-4/VU now has 8 new nodes with latest Nvidia K20 GPU.

DAS-4 Research

Processor architectures

TSAR project (Tera-Scale Multi-core Processor ARchitecture)

(prof. Deprettere, dr. Kienhuis, LU)

The aim of this EU project is the design and application of multi-core processor architectures targeting tera-flops performance. One of its topics is optimal compilation for multicore/multithreaded processors, in particular multi FPGAs.

SoftSoc (Hardware Dependent Software for Systems on Chip)

(prof. Deprettere, dr. Kienhuis, LU)

This EU project studies Hardware dependant Software solutions to improve IP integration in the SoC design process. Programming multi FPGA boards is one of its targets.

Apple Core

(prof. Jesshope, UvA)

This is an EU FP7 project that addresses the programming problem of highly-scalable CMPs (chip multi-processors)


(dr. Pimentel, UvA)

This is an NWO project studying runtime visualization for system-level architectural design space exploration.


(dr. Pimentel, UvA)

This is an NWO project addressing the design of CMPs for dynamic and adaptive streaming applications.



(prof. de Laat, UvA; prof. Bal, VU)

This is an NWO-GLANCE project in collaboration with SURFnet. It studies how to allow part of the photonic network infrastructure of the Dutch National Research and Education Network SURFnet-6 to be manipulated by Grid applications to optimize the performance of specific e-Science applications.

GigaPort-3: Research on Networks

(prof. de Laat, UvA)

In this project we study and prototype the next wave of networking paradigms that will form the basis of the future research and education infrastructure. Current research topics are the move to photonic wavelength switching devices and related transponder technology, the semantic description of the topology in order to support middleware for connection establishment, mapping multimedia and e-Science applications on those connections, transport protocols and programmable sensor networks. By moving to a network paradigm where traffic is handled on the photonic level instead of in silicon, we expect to be able to move more data at a smaller energy footprint.

Operating systems and middleware


(prof. Tanenbaum, VU)

Minix-3 is a modular multiserver operating system designed for high reliability. Any operating system must have good performance to be accepted in the community. To analyze where the time is going it is necessary to run timing tests with many different workloads. The DAS-4 system provides a good testbed to run such large-scale timing tests. This work is part of Tanenbaum's project ``Research on Really Reliable and Secure Systems Software'', for which he received a 2.4 MEuro ERC grant from the EU.


(dr. Kielmann, dr. Pierre, VU)

The EU XtreemOS project and its successor project Contrail investigate new services (e.g., support for virtual organizations) that should be added to current operating systems (in particular Linux) to easily build a Grid infrastructure. The VU concentrates on developing new technologies for self-management of very large highly decentralized Grids.

Guaranteed Delivery in Grids (GUARD-G)

(dr. Epema, TUD; dr. Wolters, LU)

The main goal of this NWO-GLANCE project is to make grids more predictable, and to design and analyze mechanism to ensure certain levels of guaranteed good performance in terms of response times and throughput, but also in terms of energy use. Prominent candidates for such techniques are prediction methods and scheduling policies that assign jobs on those resources on which they run most energy-efficiently. The implementation will be done with the KOALA grid scheduler on DAS-4, which will be the ideal environment with its heterogeneous set of resources with different energy consumption characteristics.


(dr. Hoekstra, UvA)

This is an EU Framework 6 project in Information Society Technologies about enhancing grids by suitable middleware to provide features and performance characteristics that resemble those of supercomputers.

Programming environments and compilers

Towards Data Structure Independent Computing: Eliminating Pointer-Based Structures (TODSIC)

(prof. Wijshoff, LU)

This NWO project aims at the realization of data structure independent programming whereby specific information on how data is stored and structured is hidden from the core application. The efficient use of a multicore architecture is a challenging problem that will be studied with DAS-4.

Lateral boundary conditions for nested models - mathematical and computational aspects

(dr. Wolters, LU; drs. Cats, KNMI)

In collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) this NWO project investigates how to formulate and implement good lateral boundary conditions, required to couple local climate models with a very high resolution (grid point distances less than 2 km) to global climate models (resolutions at best 20 km within a few years). Automatic code generation techniques will be adapted to include these new coupling schemes on grids.


(dr. Hoekstra, UvA)

This EU FP6/FET project develops a multi-scale, multi-science framework coined Complex Automata for modelling and simulation of complex systems based on a hierarchical aggregation of coupled Cellular Automata and agent-based models.

Sensors and the networked world


(prof. van Steen, VU; prof. Langendoen, TUD)

This multi-party SenterNovem project concentrates on developing large-scale heterogeneous distributed sensor networks to assist the living of elderly people. It is unique in the sense that it concentrates on development through experimental designs and prototypes, involving parties from several universities (TUD, TU/e, UT, VU), research centres (Holst, ESI, Roessingh) and industry (DevLab consortium, Philips).


(prof. van Steen, VU; dr. ir. Bossche, TUD; DevLab; Philips)

This STW project (3 PhDs) aims at developing gossip-based self-managing applications for very small active tags, which collaborate in large-scale networks. Typically, a DAS-4 system is used to emulate real-world scenarios, ranging from asset management within (collections of) buildings, to safeguarding logical groups of people in crowds (such as families).


(prof. Bal, dr. Kielmann, VU)

This project (two Ph.D. students) studies distributed smartphone applications. A computing backbone (the DAS) will be used to offload computationally intensive tasks, such as image processing of photos taken with the phones or planning algorithms for location-based applications.

The Network Institute

(prof. Akkermans et al., VU)

Recently, the VU has funded a new interfaculty research institute involving researchers from Computer Science, Social Sciences, and Business and Economics to join efforts in exploring phenomena related to what are generally referred to as complex networks. The Computer Science department at the VU plays a prominent role in this institute and strongly advocates an experimental approach towards verification of results and validating models. The DAS-4 system will play an important role in achieving these goals.

e-Science - Life Sciences


(dr. Bakker, LU)

The CMSB2 DIAL project aims at the integration and analysis of different genomic and phenotype CMSB data sets. High throughput micro array experiments (number of probes: 321k, 500k and more) will be combined with different phenotype data, like high resolution mass spectrography data, and publicly available high volume genomic data. For these data novel distributed data analysis, exploration, and mining algorithms will be developed and tested on DAS-4.


(prof. Sloot, UvA) EU Framework 6 project in Information Society Technologies in eHealth A Virtual Laboratory for Decision Support in Viral Disease Treatment.


(dr. Belleman, UvA)

EU co-funded project to develop open-source, semantic and grid-based technologies in support of post genomic clinical trials in cancer research.


(dr. Kaandorp, UvA)

NWO iScience VIEW project A Visual Exploration environment for Analyzing gene Regulation in Developmental processes


(dr. Kaandorp, UvA)

MORPHEX (Morphogenesis and gene regulatory networks in plants and animals: a complex systems modelling approach) is an EU FP6 project. DAS-4 will be used for sequence assembly and modelling spatio temporal gene expression patterns and inferring model parameters from actual spatio temporal gene expression data using optimization techniques.


(dr. Kaandorp, UvA)

This is an EU FP7 project aiming to understand basic mechanisms for the design of novel strategies in nanobiotechnology. DAS-4 will be used for Modelling reaction-diffusion and advection-diffusion in 3D and biophysical modelling of cells (cell-adhesion, cell movement, cell division etc ) in 3D.

Cell modelling

(prof. Bal, prof. Fokkink, prof. Heringa, dr. Kielmann, VU)

This project is a collaboration between the Computer Systems, Bioinformatics, and Theory groups of the VU, in which two Ph.D. students use Petri Nets for Cell modelling, using the DAS to analyze very complex models.

e-Science - Astronomy


(dr. Romein, ASTRON)

LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) is a new type of telescope, using an array of simple omni-directional antennas instead of a large dish. The electronic signals from the antennas are digitized, transported to a central digital processor, and combined in software to emulate a conventional dish. This is a computationally complex and data intensive process that requires the use of a supercomputer (a BlueGene/P) for online processing, reducing the data streams significantly so they can be stored. Further offline processing is required to convert the correlated signals to meaningful data that can be interpreted by astronomers. For the offline processing LOFAR plans to use grid technologies. The grid-related research performed on DAS-4 will help to achieve this.

A substantial part of the operational budget for LOFAR is spent on electrical power costs. Therefore, the novel computing technologies proposed for the DAS-4 system are especially interesting for LOFAR, since they have the potential to provide substantially more compute cycles per watt compared to the current BlueGene/P architecture.


(dr. de Vos, ASTRON)

Astronomers and engineers around the world are developing the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA will be the world's largest telescope, with a million square metres of collecting area, capable of observing gamma-ray bursts, extrasolar planets, evolving galaxies, dark matter and possibly even back to the Big Bang. Like LOFAR, the SKA is an IT-telescope, requiring vast amounts of compute power and data transport capabilities. In September 2006, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) published its roadmap identifying Research Infrastructures of pan-European interest. SKA was named as one of 35 projects across all fields of science, and one of only 3 in astronomy and particle astrophysics.


(de Vos, ASTRON)

The PrepSKA project is a vital preparation stage that will finalise a detailed, costed technical design and develop the governance and legal framework for the SKA. PrepSKA consists of a global consortium of 24 partners (8 funding agencies, 16 universities and astronomy organizations from Europe, Australia, Canada, South Africa and USA), and is partially funded by an EU FP7 project.

Dutch Dynamic GRAPE Grid

(dr. Portegies-Zwart, UvA)

NWO Computational Science STARE project Applying Grid-based hybrid wide area computing in data-intensive astrophysics problems which are performance limited.


(prof. Sips, TU; dr. Kielmann, VU; dr. Romein, ASTRON)

The NWO-STARE project AstroStream aims at creating an application development environment for stream-based astronomy applications, tailored to the needs of the next-generation radio telescopes LOFAR and SKA.


(prof. de laat, UvA)

This is an NWO project to distribute raw telescope data over a custom Dutch computing network with very high connectivity, and to implement the computationally intensive correlation of radio-astronomical signals on distributed, grid-enabled computers.


PROMM-GRID: Programming Models for Multimedia Grid Computing

(dr. Seinstra, VU)

This project explores the fundamental methodologies required for defining Grid programming models that are tailored to multimedia researchers. In particular, it investigates to what extent application-level quality-of-service constraints (e.g., time limitations, power consumption) can be translated transparently to Grid systems. The research is funded by the VU with 1 MEURO, and has won the CCGridb^@^Y08 Scalable Computing Challenge award.

JADE-MM: Adaptive High-Performance Distributed Multimedia Computing

(prof. Smeulders, UvA; dr. Kielmann, prof. Bal, VU)

The JADE-MM project, funded by NWO-GLANCE, aims to develop stochastic control schemes that make time-constrained multimedia applications tolerant to the dynamics of large-scale Grid environments, and to integrate these control schemes into a software framework for large-scale multimedia content analysis. Clearly, the availability of hardware accelerators in DAS-4 will add an important extra dimension to this ongoing research.


(prof. Smeulders, UvA)

The EU FP6 VIDI-Video project regarding ``Interactive Semantic Video Search with a Large Thesaurus of Machine-Learned Audio-Visual Concepts'' will substantially enhance access to video, by developing a semantic search engine, based on a 1000 element thesaurus for automatically detecting instances of semantic concepts in the audio-visual content.

MuNCH: Multimedia aNalysis for Cultural Heritage

(prof. Smeulders, UvA)

The MuNCH project is part of NWO's CATCH (Continuous Access To Cultural Heritage) program. The aim of this project is to provide faster and more complete access to pictures in cultural archives through digital analysis.

SEARCHER: Substituting Experts by Amateurs for Concept-based Video Retrieval

(dr. Snoek, UvA)

This NWO-VENI project investigates how techniques of automatic multimedia content analysis can improve the incomplete and often erroneous annotations of images as found on the Internet. As in the VIDI-VIDEO and MuNCH projects above, the DAS-4 system will be used to analyze very large amounts of input image data, and to deal with many gigabytes of dense intermediate data structures.

Internet and web applications


(dr. Epema, prof. Sips, TUD)

The goal of this large EU/FP7 integrated project is to design, implement, and analyze near-zero cost infrastructures employing P2P techniques for the creation and distribution of content (video) by amateurs and professional alike. The system should be able to work with recorded (both video-on-demand and downloaded) and live content, and include mechanisms for recommendations and fair bandwidth sharing. The proposed DAS-4 will be a perfect environment for emulating a prototype and for monotoring a deployed system.


(dr. H. Bos, VU)

The EU FP7 Wombat project aims to build a world-wide repository of malware, using new sensors to detect and analyze network attacks. It will set up a scalable multi-tier security system requiring many different types of machines and the ability to allocate resources to specific tasks dynamically. The proposed DAS-4 system will present an ideal environment for this work.


(prof. van Harmelen, VU)

The EU FP7 project LarKC (Large Knowledge Collider) studies reasoning over very large distributed repositories of facts and relations (for example for solving semantic interoperability problems), up to a scale of billions of facts. Several aspects of this project are suitable for experimentation on DAS-4 (in collaboration with Prof. Bal's group), including research on RDF (Resource Description Framework) querying and RDF Schema inferencing.