Preliminary Experiences with the Uintah Framework on Intel Xeon Phi and Stampede|
Q. Meng, A. Humphrey, J. Schmidt, M. Berzins. In Proceedings of the Conference on Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment: Gateway to Discovery (XSEDE 2013), San Diego, California, pp. 48:1--48:8. 2013.
In this work, we describe our preliminary experiences on the Stampede system in the context of the Uintah Computational Framework. Uintah was developed to provide an environment for solving a broad class of fluid-structure interaction problems on structured adaptive grids. Uintah uses a combination of fluid-flow solvers and particle-based methods, together with a novel asynchronous task-based approach and fully automated load balancing. While we have designed scalable Uintah runtime systems for large CPU core counts, the emergence of heterogeneous systems presents considerable challenges in terms of effectively utilizing additional on-node accelerators and co-processors, deep memory hierarchies, as well as managing multiple levels of parallelism. Our recent work has addressed the emergence of heterogeneous CPU/GPU systems with the design of a Unified heterogeneous runtime system, enabling Uintah to fully exploit these architectures with support for asynchronous, out-of-order scheduling of both CPU and GPU computational tasks. Using this design, Uintah has run at full scale on the Keeneland System and TitanDev. With the release of the Intel Xeon Phi co-processor and the recent availability of the Stampede system, we show that Uintah may be modified to utilize such a co-processor based system. We also explore the different usage models provided by the Xeon Phi with the aim of understanding portability of a general purpose framework like Uintah to this architecture. These usage models range from the pragma based offload model to the more complex symmetric model, utilizing all co-processor and host CPU cores simultaneously. We provide preliminary results of the various usage models for a challenging adaptive mesh refinement problem, as well as a detailed account of our experience adapting Uintah to run on the Stampede system. Our conclusion is that while the Stampede system is easy to use, obtaining high performance from the Xeon Phi co-processors requires a substantial but different investment to that needed for GPU-based systems.
Keywords: MIC, Xeon Phi, adaptive, co-processor, heterogeneous systems, hybrid parallelism, parallel, scalability, stampede, uintah, c-safe
Multiscale Modeling of Accidental Explosions and Detonations|
J. Beckvermit, J. Peterson, T. Harman, S. Bardenhagen, C. Wight, Q. Meng, M. Berzins. In Computing in Science and Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 76--86. 2013.
Accidental explosions are exceptionally dangerous and costly, both in lives and money. Regarding world-wide conflict with small arms and light weapons, the Small Arms Survey has recorded over 297 accidental explosions in munitions depots across the world that have resulted in thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damage in the past decade alone . As the recent fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people in West, Texas demonstrates, accidental explosions are not limited to military operations. Transportation accidents also pose risks, as illustrated by the occasional train derailment/explosion in the nightly news, or the semi-truck explosion detailed in the following section. Unlike other industrial accident scenarios, explosions can easily affect the general public, a dramatic example being the PEPCON disaster in 1988, where windows were shattered, doors blown off their hinges, and flying glass and debris caused injuries up to 10 miles away.
While the relative rarity of accidental explosions speaks well of our understanding to date, their violence rightly gives us pause. A better understanding of these materials is clearly still needed, but a significant barrier is the complexity of these materials and the various length scales involved. In typical military applications, explosives are known to be ignited by the coalescence of hot spots which occur on micrometer scales. Whether this reaction remains a deflagration (burning) or builds to a detonation depends both on the stimulus and the boundary conditions or level of confinement. Boundary conditions are typically on the scale of engineered parts, approximately meters. Additional dangers are present at the scale of trucks and factories. The interaction of various entities, such as barrels of fertilizer or crates of detonators, admits the possibility of a sympathetic detonation, i.e. the unintended detonation of one entity by the explosion of another, generally caused by an explosive shock wave or blast fragments.
While experimental work has been and will continue to be critical to developing our fundamental understanding of explosive initiation, de agration and detonation, there is no practical way to comprehensively assess safety on the scale of trucks and factories experimentally. The scenarios are too diverse and the costs too great. Numerical simulation provides a complementary tool that, with the steadily increasing computational power of the past decades, makes simulations at this scale begin to look plausible. Simulations at both the micrometer scale, the "mesoscale", and at the scale of engineered parts, the "macro-scale", have been contributing increasingly to our understanding of these materials. Still, simulations on this scale require both massively parallel computational infrastructure and selective sampling of mesoscale response, i.e. advanced computational tools and modeling. The computational framework Uintah  has been developed for exactly this purpose.
Keywords: uintah, c-safe, accidents, explosions, military computing, risk analysis
Rethinking Abstractions for Big Data: Why, Where, How, and What|
M. Hall, R.M. Kirby, F. Li, M.D. Meyer, V. Pascucci, J.M. Phillips, R. Ricci, J. Van der Merwe, S. Venkatasubramanian. In Cornell University Library, 2013.
Big data refers to large and complex data sets that, under existing approaches, exceed the capacity and capability of current compute platforms, systems software, analytical tools and human understanding . Numerous lessons on the scalability of big data can already be found in asymptotic analysis of algorithms and from the high-performance computing (HPC) and applications communities. However, scale is only one aspect of current big data trends; fundamentally, current and emerging problems in big data are a result of unprecedented complexity |in the structure of the data and how to analyze it, in dealing with unreliability and redundancy, in addressing the human factors of comprehending complex data sets, in formulating meaningful analyses, and in managing the dense, power-hungry data centers that house big data.
The computer science solution to complexity is finding the right abstractions, those that hide as much triviality as possible while revealing the essence of the problem that is being addressed. The "big data challenge" has disrupted computer science by stressing to the very limits the familiar abstractions which define the relevant subfields in data analysis, data management and the underlying parallel systems. Efficient processing of big data has shifted systems towards increasingly heterogeneous and specialized units, with resilience and energy becoming important considerations. The design and analysis of algorithms must now incorporate emerging costs in communicating data driven by IO costs, distributed data, and the growing energy cost of these operations. Data analysis representations as structural patterns and visualizations surpass human visual bandwidth, structures studied at small scale are rare at large scale, and large-scale high-dimensional phenomena cannot be reproduced at small scale.
As a result, not enough of these challenges are revealed by isolating abstractions in a traditional soft-ware stack or standard algorithmic and analytical techniques, and attempts to address complexity either oversimplify or require low-level management of details. The authors believe that the abstractions for big data need to be rethought, and this reorganization needs to evolve and be sustained through continued cross-disciplinary collaboration.
In what follows, we first consider the question of why big data and why now. We then describe the where (big data systems), the how (big data algorithms), and the what (big data analytics) challenges that we believe are central and must be addressed as the research community develops these new abstractions. We equate the biggest challenges that span these areas of big data with big mythological creatures, namely cyclops, that should be conquered.
Statistical Shape Modeling of Cam Femoroacetabular Impingement|
M.D. Harris, M. Datar, R.T. Whitaker, E.R. Jurrus, C.L. Peters, A.E. Anderson. In Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Vol. 31, No. 10, pp. 1620--1626. 2013.
Statistical shape modeling (SSM) was used to quantify 3D variation and morphologic differences between femurs with and without cam femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). 3D surfaces were generated from CT scans of femurs from 41 controls and 30 cam FAI patients. SSM correspondence particles were optimally positioned on each surface using a gradient descent energy function. Mean shapes for groups were defined. Morphological differences between group mean shapes and between the control mean and individual patients were calculated. Principal component analysis described anatomical variation. Among all femurs, the first six modes (or principal components) captured significant variations, which comprised 84% of cumulative variation. The first two modes, which described trochanteric height and femoral neck width, were significantly different between groups. The mean cam femur shape protruded above the control mean by a maximum of 3.3 mm with sustained protrusions of 2.5–3.0 mm along the anterolateral head-neck junction/distal anterior neck. SSM described variations in femoral morphology that corresponded well with areas prone to damage. Shape variation described by the first two modes may facilitate objective characterization of cam FAI deformities; variation beyond may be inherent population variance. SSM could characterize disease severity and guide surgical resection of bone.
A High-Performance Multi-Element Processing Framework on GPUs|
SCI Technical Report, L.K. Ha, J. King, Z. Fu, R.M. Kirby. No. UUSCI-2013-005, SCI Institute, University of Utah, 2013.
Many computational engineering problems ranging from finite element methods to image processing involve the batch processing on a large number of data items. While multielement processing has the potential to harness computational power of parallel systems, current techniques often concentrate on maximizing elemental performance. Frameworks that take this greedy optimization approach often fail to extract the maximum processing power of the system for multi-element processing problems. By ultilizing the knowledge that the same operation will be accomplished on a large number of items, we can organize the computation to maximize the computational throughput available in parallel streaming hardware. In this paper, we analyzed weaknesses of existing methods and we proposed efficient parallel programming patterns implemented in a high performance multi-element processing framework to harness the processing power of GPUs. Our approach is capable of levering out the performance curve even on the range of small element size.
Lateral ventricle morphology analysis via mean latitude axis|
B. Paniagua, A. Lyall, J.-B. Berger, C. Vachet, R.M. Hamer, S. Woolson, W. Lin, J. Gilmore, M. Styner. In Proceedings of SPIE 8672, Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 86720M, 2013.
PubMed ID: 23606800
PubMed Central ID: PMC3630372
Statistical shape analysis has emerged as an insightful method for evaluating brain structures in neuroimaging studies, however most shape frameworks are surface based and thus directly depend on the quality of surface alignment. In contrast, medial descriptions employ thickness information as alignment-independent shape metric. We propose a joint framework that computes local medial thickness information via a mean latitude axis from the well-known spherical harmonic (SPHARM-PDM) shape framework. In this work, we applied SPHARM derived medial representations to the morphological analysis of lateral ventricles in neonates. Mild ventriculomegaly (MVM) subjects are compared to healthy controls to highlight the potential of the methodology. Lateral ventricles were obtained from MRI scans of neonates (9- 144 days of age) from 30 MVM subjects as well as age- and sex-matched normal controls (60 total). SPHARM-PDM shape analysis was extended to compute a mean latitude axis directly from the spherical parameterization. Local thickness and area was straightforwardly determined. MVM and healthy controls were compared using local MANOVA and compared with the traditional SPHARM-PDM analysis. Both surface and mean latitude axis findings differentiate successfully MVM and healthy lateral ventricle morphology. Lateral ventricles in MVM neonates show enlarged shapes in tail and head. Mean latitude axis is able to find significant differences all along the lateral ventricle shape, demonstrating that local thickness analysis provides significant insight over traditional SPHARM-PDM. This study is the first to precisely quantify 3D lateral ventricle morphology in MVM neonates using shape analysis.
Modeling 4D changes in pathological anatomy using domain adaptation: analysis of TBI imaging using a tumor database|
Bo Wang, M. Prastawa, A. Saha, S.P. Awate, A. Irimia, M.C. Chambers, P.M. Vespa, J.D. Van Horn, V. Pascucci, G. Gerig. In Proceedings of the 2013 MICCAI-MBIA Workshop, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), Vol. 8159, Note: Awarded Best Paper!, pp. 31--39. 2013.
Analysis of 4D medical images presenting pathology (i.e., lesions) is signi cantly challenging due to the presence of complex changes over time. Image analysis methods for 4D images with lesions need to account for changes in brain structures due to deformation, as well as the formation and deletion of new structures (e.g., edema, bleeding) due to the physiological processes associated with damage, intervention, and recovery. We propose a novel framework that models 4D changes in pathological anatomy across time, and provides explicit mapping from a healthy template to subjects with pathology. Moreover, our framework uses transfer learning to leverage rich information from a known source domain, where we have a collection of completely segmented images, to yield effective appearance models for the input target domain. The automatic 4D segmentation method uses a novel domain adaptation technique for generative kernel density models to transfer information between different domains, resulting in a fully automatic method that requires no user interaction. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our novel approach with the analysis of 4D images of traumatic brain injury (TBI), using a synthetic tumor database as the source domain.
Investigating Applications Portability with the Uintah DAG-based Runtime System on PetaScale Supercomputers|
SCI Technical Report, Q. Meng, A. Humphrey, J. Schmidt, M. Berzins. No. UUSCI-2013-003, SCI Institute, University of Utah, 2013.
Present trends in high performance computing present formidable challenges for applications code using multicore nodes possibly with accelerators and/or co-processors and reduced memory while still attaining scalability. Software frameworks that execute machineindependent applications code using a runtime system that shields users from architectural complexities offer a possible solution. The Uintah framework for example, solves a broad class of large-scale problems on structured adaptive grids using fluid-flow solvers coupled with particle-based solids methods. Uintah executes directed acyclic graphs of computational tasks with a scalable asynchronous and dynamic runtime system for CPU cores and/or accelerators/coprocessors on a node. Uintah's clear separation between application and runtime code has led to scalability increases of 1000x without significant changes to application code. This methodology is tested on three leading Top500 machines; OLCF Titan, TACC Stampede and ALCF Mira using three diverse and challenging applications problems. This investigation of scalability with regard to the different processors and communications performance leads to the overall conclusion that the adaptive DAG-based approach provides a very powerful abstraction for solving challenging multiscale multi-physics engineering problems on some of the largest and most powerful computers available today.
Keywords: Uintah, hybrid parallelism, scalability, parallel, adaptive, MIC, Xeon Phi, heterogeneous systems, Stampede, co-processor
A new discrete element analysis method for predicting hip joint contact stresses|
C.L. Abraham, S.A. Maas, J.A. Weiss, B.J. Ellis, C.L. Peters, A.E. Anderson. In Journal of Biomechanics, Vol. 46, No. 6, pp. 1121--1127. 2013.
Quantifying cartilage contact stress is paramount to understanding hip osteoarthritis. Discrete element analysis (DEA) is a computationally efficient method to estimate cartilage contact stresses. Previous applications of DEA have underestimated cartilage stresses and yielded unrealistic contact patterns because they assumed constant cartilage thickness and/or concentric joint geometry. The study objectives were to: (1) develop a DEA model of the hip joint with subject-specific bone and cartilage geometry, (2) validate the DEA model by comparing DEA predictions to those of a validated finite element analysis (FEA) model, and (3) verify both the DEA and FEA models with a linear-elastic boundary value problem. Springs representing cartilage in the DEA model were given lengths equivalent to the sum of acetabular and femoral cartilage thickness and gap distance in the FEA model. Material properties and boundary/loading conditions were equivalent. Walking, descending, and ascending stairs were simulated. Solution times for DEA and FEA models were ∼7 s and ∼65 min, respectively. Irregular, complex contact patterns predicted by DEA were in excellent agreement with FEA. DEA contact areas were 7.5%, 9.7% and 3.7% less than FEA for walking, descending stairs, and ascending stairs, respectively. DEA models predicted higher peak contact stresses (9.8–13.6 MPa) and average contact stresses (3.0–3.7 MPa) than FEA (6.2–9.8 and 2.0–2.5 MPa, respectively). DEA overestimated stresses due to the absence of the Poisson's effect and a direct contact interface between cartilage layers. Nevertheless, DEA predicted realistic contact patterns when subject-specific bone geometry and cartilage thickness were used. This DEA method may have application as an alternative to FEA for pre-operative planning of joint-preserving surgery such as acetabular reorientation during peri-acetabular osteotomy.
Three-dimensional Quantification of Femoral Head Shape in Controls and Patients with Cam-type Femoroacetabular Impingement|
M.D. Harris, S.P. Reese, C.L. Peters, J.A. Weiss, A.E. Anderson. In Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 41, No. 6, pp. 1162--1171. 2013.
An objective measurement technique to quantify 3D femoral head shape was developed and applied to normal subjects and patients with cam-type femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). 3D reconstructions were made from high-resolution CT images of 15 cam and 15 control femurs. Femoral heads were fit to ideal geometries consisting of rotational conchoids and spheres. Geometric similarity between native femoral heads and ideal shapes was quantified. The maximum distance native femoral heads protruded above ideal shapes and the protrusion area were measured. Conchoids provided a significantly better fit to native femoral head geometry than spheres for both groups. Cam-type FAI femurs had significantly greater maximum deviations (4.99 ± 0.39 mm and 4.08 ± 0.37 mm) than controls (2.41 ± 0.31 mm and 1.75 ± 0.30 mm) when fit to spheres or conchoids, respectively. The area of native femoral heads protruding above ideal shapes was significantly larger in controls when a lower threshold of 0.1 mm (for spheres) and 0.01 mm (for conchoids) was used to define a protrusion. The 3D measurement technique described herein could supplement measurements of radiographs in the diagnosis of cam-type FAI. Deviations up to 2.5 mm from ideal shapes can be expected in normal femurs while deviations of 4–5 mm are characteristic of cam-type FAI.
Synergistic Challenges in Data-Intensive Science and Exascale Computing|
J. Chen, A. Choudhary, S. Feldman, B. Hendrickson, C.R. Johnson, R. Mount, V. Sarkar, V. White, D. Williams. Note: Summary Report of the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) Subcommittee, March, 2013.
The ASCAC Subcommittee on Synergistic Challenges in Data-Intensive Science and Exascale Computing has reviewed current practice and future plans in multiple science domains in the context of the challenges facing both Big Data and the Exascale Computing. challenges. The review drew from public presentations, workshop reports and expert testimony. Data-intensive research activities are increasing in all domains of science, and exascale computing is a key enabler of these activities. We briefly summarize below the key findings and recommendations from this report from the perspective of identifying investments that are most likely to positively impact both data-intensive science goals and exascale computing goals.
Preliminary Experiences with the Uintah Framework on Intel Xeon Phi and Stampede|
SCI Technical Report, Q. Meng, A. Humphrey, J. Schmidt, M. Berzins. No. UUSCI-2013-002, SCI Institute, University of Utah, 2013.
In this work, we describe our preliminary experiences on the Stampede system in the context of the Uintah Computational Framework. Uintah was developed to provide an environment for solving a broad class of fluid-structure interaction problems on structured adaptive grids. Uintah uses a combination of fluid-flow solvers and particle-based methods, together with a novel asynchronous taskbased approach and fully automated load balancing. While we have designed scalable Uintah runtime systems for large CPU core counts, the emergence of heterogeneous systems presents considerable challenges in terms of effectively utilizing additional on-node accelerators and co-processors, deep memory hierarchies, as well as managing multiple levels of parallelism. Our recent work has addressed the emergence of heterogeneous CPU/GPU systems with the design of a Unified heterogeneous runtime system, enabling Uintah to fully exploit these architectures with support for asynchronous, out-of-order scheduling of both CPU and GPU computational tasks. Using this design, Uintah has run at full scale on the Keeneland System and TitanDev. With the release of the Intel Xeon Phi co-processor and the recent availability of the Stampede system, we show that Uintah may be modified to utilize such a coprocessor based system. We also explore the different usage models provided by the Xeon Phi with the aim of understanding portability of a general purpose framework like Uintah to this architecture. These usage models range from the pragma based offload model to the more complex symmetric model, utilizing all co-processor and host CPU cores simultaneously. We provide preliminary results of the various usage models for a challenging adaptive mesh refinement problem, as well as a detailed account of our experience adapting Uintah to run on the Stampede system. Our conclusion is that while the Stampede system is easy to use, obtaining high performance from the Xeon Phi co-processors requires a substantial but different investment to that needed for GPU-based systems.
Keywords: Uintah, hybrid parallelism, scalability, parallel, adaptive, MIC, Xeon Phi, heterogeneous systems, Stampede, co-processor
Applying high-performance computing to petascale explosive simulations|
J.R. Peterson, C.A. Wight, M. Berzins. In Procedia Computer Science, 2013.
Hazardous scenarios involving explosives are difficult to experimentally study and simulation is often the only viable approach to study highly reactive phenomena. Explosive simulations are computationally expensive, requiring supercomputing resources for continued scientific discovery in the field. Here an idealized mesoscale simulation of explosive grains under mechanical insult by a high-speed projectile with reaction represented by a novel kinetic model is designed to test the scalability of the Uintah software on petascale supercomputers. Good scalability is found up to 49K processors. Timing breakdown of computational tasks are determined with relocation of Lagrangian particles and interpolation of those particles to the grid identified as the most expensive operation and ideal for optimization. Potential optimization strategies are identified. Realistic model simulations rather than toy model simulations are found to better represent scalability of a science code on a supercomputer. Estimations for total supercomputer hours necessary to complete the kinetic model validation study are reported.
Keywords: Energetic Material Hazards, Uintah, MPM, ICE, MPMICE, Scalable Parallelism, C-SAFE
Crash Early, Crash Often, Explain Well: Practical Formal Correctness Checking of Million-core Problem Solving Environments for HPC|
D.C.B. de Oliveira, Z. Rakamaric, G. Gopalakrishnan, A. Humphrey, Q. Meng, M. Berzins. In Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2013), pp. (accepted). 2013.
While formal correctness checking methods have been deployed at scale in a number of important practical domains, we believe that such an experiment has yet to occur in the domain of high performance computing at the scale of a million CPU cores. This paper presents preliminary results from the Uintah Runtime Verification (URV) project that has been launched with this objective. Uintah is an asynchronous task-graph based problem-solving environment that has shown promising results on problems as diverse as fluid-structure interaction and turbulent combustion at well over 200K cores to date. Uintah has been tested on leading platforms such as Kraken, Keenland, and Titan consisting of multicore CPUs and GPUs, incorporates several innovative design features, and is following a roadmap for development well into the million core regime. The main results from the URV project to date are crystallized in two observations: (1) A diverse array of well-known ideas from lightweight formal methods and testing/observing HPC systems at scale have an excellent chance of succeeding. The real challenges are in finding out exactly which combinations of ideas to deploy, and where. (2) Large-scale problem solving environments for HPC must be designed such that they can be \"crashed early\" (at smaller scales of deployment) and \"crashed often\" (have effective ways of input generation and schedule perturbation that cause vulnerabilities to be attacked with higher probability). Furthermore, following each crash, one must \"explain well\" (given the extremely obscure ways in which an error finally manifests itself, we must develop ways to record information leading up to the crash in informative ways, to minimize offsite debugging burden). Our plans to achieve these goals and to measure our success are described. We also highlight some of the broadly applicable concepts and approaches.
Past, Present, and Future Scalability of the Uintah Software|
M. Berzins, J. Schmidt, Q. Meng, A. Humphrey. In Proceedings of the Blue Waters Extreme Scaling Workshop 2012, pp. Article No.: 6. 2013.
The past, present and future scalability of the Uintah Software framework is considered with the intention of describing a successful approach to large scale parallelism and also considering how this approach may need to be extended for future architectures. Uintah allows the solution of large scale fluid-structure interaction problems through the use of fluid flow solvers coupled with particle-based solids methods. In addition Uintah uses a combustion solver to tackle a broad and challenging class of turbulent combustion problems. A unique feature of Uintah is that it uses an asynchronous task-based approach with automatic load balancing to solve complex problems using techniques such as adaptive mesh refinement. At present, Uintah is able to make full use of present-day massively parallel machines as the result of three phases of development over the past dozen years. These development phases have led to an adaptive scalable run-time system that is capable of independently scheduling tasks to multiple CPUs cores and GPUs on a node. In the case of solving incompressible low-mach number applications it is also necessary to use linear solvers and to consider the challenges of radiation problems. The approaches adopted to achieve present scalability are described and their extensions to possible future architectures is considered.
Keywords: netl, Uintah, parallelism, scalability, adaptive mesh refinement, linear equations
Data and Range-Bounded Polynomials in ENO Methods|
M. Berzins. In Journal of Computational Science, Vol. 4, No. 1-2, pp. 62--70. 2013.
Essentially Non-Oscillatory (ENO) methods and Weighted Essentially Non-Oscillatory (WENO) methods are of fundamental importance in the numerical solution of hyperbolic equations. A key property of such equations is that the solution must remain positive or lie between bounds. A modification of the polynomials used in ENO methods to ensure that the modified polynomials are either bounded by adjacent values (data-bounded) or lie within a specified range (range-bounded) is considered. It is shown that this approach helps both in the range boundedness in the preservation of extrema in the ENO polynomial solution.
Effect of deltoid tension and humeral version in reverse total shoulder arthroplasty: a biomechanical study|
H.B. Henninger, Barg A, A.E. Anderson, K.N. Bachus, R.Z. Tashjian, R.T. Burks. In Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 483–-490. 2012.
Materials and methods
Keywords: Shoulder, reverse arthroplasty, deltoid tension, humeral version, biomechanical simulator
Extreme-Scale Visual Analytics|
P.C. Wong, H. Shen, V. Pascucci. In IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 23--25. 2012.
Extreme-scale visual analytics (VA) is about applying VA to extreme-scale data. The articles in this special issue examine advances related to extreme-scale VA problems, their analytical and computational challenges, and their real-world applications.
Atrial Fibrosis Quantified Using Late Gadolinium Enhancement MRI is AssociatedWith Sinus Node Dysfunction Requiring Pacemaker Implant|
N.W. Akoum, C.J. McGann, G. Vergara, T. Badger, R. Ranjan, C. Mahnkopf, E.G. Kholmovski, R.S. Macleod, N.F. Marrouche. In Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 44--50. 2012.
Atrial Fibrosis and Sinus Node Dysfunction. Introduction: Sinus node dysfunction (SND) commonly manifests with atrial arrhythmias alternating with sinus pauses and sinus bradycardia. The underlying process is thought to be because of atrial fibrosis. We assessed the value of atrial fibrosis, quantified using Late Gadolinium Enhanced-MRI (LGE-MRI), in predicting significant SND requiring pacemaker implant.
Methods: Three hundred forty-four patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) presenting for catheter ablation underwent LGE-MRI. Left atrial (LA) fibrosis was quantified in all patients and right atrial (RA) fibrosis in 134 patients. All patients underwent catheter ablation with pulmonary vein isolation with posterior wall and septal debulking. Patients were followed prospectively for 329 ± 245 days. Ambulatory monitoring was instituted every 3 months. Symptomatic pauses and bradycardia were treated with pacemaker implantation per published guidelines.
Results: The average patient age was 65 ± 12 years. The average wall fibrosis was 16.7 ± 11.1% in the LA, and 5.3 ± 6.4% in the RA. RA fibrosis was correlated with LA fibrosis (R2= 0.26; P < 0.01). Patients were divided into 4 stages of LA fibrosis (Utah I: 35%). Twenty-two patients (mean atrial fibrosis, 23.9%) required pacemaker implantation during follow-up. Univariate and multivariate analysis identified LA fibrosis stage (OR, 2.2) as a significant predictor for pacemaker implantation with an area under the curve of 0.704.
Conclusions: In patients with AF presenting for catheter ablation, LGE-MRI quantification of atrial fibrosis demonstrates preferential LA involvement. Significant atrial fibrosis is associated with clinically significant SND requiring pacemaker implantation. (J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, Vol. 23, pp. 44-50, January 2012)
30 Generation of Cloned Transgenic Goats with Cardiac Specific Overexpression of Transforming Growth Factor β1|
Q. Meng, J. Hall, H. Rutigliano, X. Zhou, B.R. Sessions, R. Stott, K. Panter, C.J. Davies, R. Ranjan, D. Dosdall, R.S. MacLeod, N. Marrouche, K.L. White, Z. Wang, I.A. Polejaeva. In Reproduction, Fertility and Development, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 162--163. 2012.
Transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) has a potent profibrotic function and is central to signaling cascades involved in interstitial fibrosis, which plays a critical role in the pathobiology of cardiomyopathy and contributes to diastolic and systolic dysfunction. In addition, fibrotic remodeling is responsible for generation of re-entry circuits that promote arrhythmias (Bujak and Frangogiannis 2007 Cardiovasc. Res. 74, 184–195). Due to the small size of the heart, functional electrophysiology of transgenic mice is problematic. Large transgenic animal models have the potential to offer insights into conduction heterogeneity associated with fibrosis and the role of fibrosis in cardiovascular diseases. The goal of this study was to generate transgenic goats overexpressing an active form of TGFβ-1 under control of the cardiac-specific α-myosin heavy chain promoter (α-MHC). A pcDNA3.1DV5-MHC-TGF-β1cys33ser vector was constructed by subcloning the MHC-TGF-β1 fragment from the plasmid pUC-BM20-MHC-TGF-β1 (Nakajima et al. 2000 Circ. Res. 86, 571–579) into the pcDNA3.1D V5 vector. The Neon transfection system was used to electroporate primary goat fetal fibroblasts. After G418 selection and PCR screening, transgenic cells were used for SCNT. Oocytes were collected by slicing ovaries from an abattoir and matured in vitro in an incubator with 5\% CO2 in air. Cumulus cells were removed at 21 to 23 h post-maturation. Oocytes were enucleated by aspirating the first polar body and nearby cytoplasm by micromanipulation in Hepes-buffered SOF medium with 10 µg of cytochalasin B mL–1. Transgenic somatic cells were individually inserted into the perivitelline space and fused with enucleated oocytes using double electrical pulses of 1.8 kV cm–1 (40 µs each). Reconstructed embryos were activated by ionomycin (5 min) and DMAP and cycloheximide (CHX) treatments. Cloned embryos were cultured in G1 medium for 12 to 60 h in vitro and then transferred into synchronized recipient females. Pregnancy was examined by ultrasonography on day 30 post-transfer. A total of 246 cloned embryos were transferred into 14 recipients that resulted in production of 7 kids. The pregnancy rate was higher in the group cultured for 12 h compared with those cultured 36 to 60 h [44.4\% (n = 9) v. 20\% (n = 5)]. The kidding rates per embryo transferred of these 2 groups were 3.8\% (n = 156) and 1.1\% (n = 90), respectively. The PCR results confirmed that all the clones were transgenic. Phenotype characterization [e.g. gene expression, electrocardiogram (ECG), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)] is underway. We demonstrated successful production of transgenic goat via SCNT. To our knowledge, this is the first transgenic goat model produced for cardiovascular research.