The Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory (NDSSL) at Virginia Tech's Virginia Bioinformatics Institute has been awarded a four-year, $1.45 million grant by the National Science Foundation to develop petascale computing environments capable of modeling billions of individuals in extremely large social and information networks. The goal of the NDSSL effort is to use new computer technology to study events such as disease pandemics, financial crises, and the spread of opinions, attitudes, or social beliefs.
Current state-of-the-art agent-based computer models are capable of simulating these trends through a population the size of the United States, and petascale modeling would make simulations of global populations possible.
The NDSSL, working with the Brookings Institution, Indiana University, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will develop models and algorithms that support the work of researchers and policymakers who want to examine and probe individual and group behaviors in simulated global social networks. "Underpinning this project is a desire to create some of the next-generation computational tools and environments that will be needed to enable future research by social, biological, and computational scientists," says NDSSL's Madhav Marathe. "We anticipate unprecedented increases in scaling and execution speeds for computer processors in the years ahead."
From Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
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