Science and Technology Seminar
A User-Driven Meso-Gamma-Scale Numerical Modeling and Visualization System for Weather-Sensitive Decision Making
Project Scientist, Big Green Innovations
IBM Systems & Technology Group
Yorktown Heights, New York
In many businesses, the decision maker in operational settings requires predictive information to make appropriate choices, which may have a significant economic or societal impact. However, there may be a real or perceived mismatch between available information and the requirements of such a decision maker to enable planning instead of reaction based upon temporal, spatial or content considerations. The conventional solution is to scale the predictive modeling to address gaps in resolution and physics. This suggests a role for meso-gamma-scale (cloud-scale) numerical weather models, which have shown promise for many years as a potential enabler of proactive decision making. In addition to such models having an increased computational burden, the usability of the data may decrease significantly. To study these mismatches, we examined business operations that are sensitive to short-term weather and environmental factors by adapting and enhancing extant numerical weather prediction codes coupled with appropriate visualizations and analyses that are tailored to the application and function only at the relevant scale. We have created an operational test-bed for such user-driven predictive simulation and visualization called "Deep Thunder". It currently provides 24-hour forecasts as a service at one to two kilometer resolution for several metropolitan areas in the United States, which are updated at least twice daily.
Another goal is to reduce the window of uncertainty from the perspective of specific business problems associated with the impact, timing and location of relevant weather events. Hence, our work has included a focus on high-performance computing, visualization, and automation. Part of the rationale for this focus is practicality to enable these capabilities to be available as a service. Given the time-critical nature of weather-sensitive business decisions, if the relevant content can not be provided sufficiently fast, then it has no value. Such end-to-end computations need to be completed at least an order of magnitude faster than real-time. But rapid computation is insufficient if the results can not be easily and quickly utilized. Thus, a variety of fixed and interactive flexible two- and three-dimensional visualizations have been implemented.
December 05, 2007
2:00 3:00 p.m. ET
SSMC #2, Room 2358
(Contact: Bob Glahn at (301) 713-1768)