Publications / SAND Report

End-to-end Provenance Traceability and Reproducibility Through "Palletized'' Simulation Data

Lofstead, Gerald F.; Younge, Andrew J.; Baker, Joshua B.

Trusting simulation output is crucial for Sandia's mission objectives. We rely on these simulations to perform our high-consequence mission tasks given our treaty obligations. Other science and modelling needs, while they may not be high-consequence, still require the strongest levels of trust to enable using the result as the foundation for both practical applications and future research. To this end, the computing community has developed work- flow and provenance systems to aid in both automating simulation and modelling execution, but to also aid in determining exactly how was some output created so that conclusions can be drawn from the data. Current approaches for workflows and provenance systems are all at the user level and have little to no system level support making them fragile, difficult to use, and incomplete solutions. The introduction of container technology is a first step towards encapsulating and tracking artifacts used in creating data and resulting insights, but their current implementation is focused solely on making it easy to deploy an application in an isolated "sandbox" and maintaining a strictly read-only mode to avoid any potential changes to the application. All storage activities are still using the system-level shared storage. This project was an initial exploration into extending the container concept to also include storage and to use writable containers, auto generated by the system, as a way to link the contained data back to the simulation and input deck used to create it.