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Case Study of the NENE Code Project

January 2007 Technical Note
Richard Kendall, Douglass Post (DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program), Andrew Mark (DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program)

This report outlines the case studies of high-performance code development projects. This is the fifth case study in this series.


Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number


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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) High Productivity Computing Systems (HPCS) Program is sponsoring a series of case studies to identify the life cycles, workflows, and technical challenges of computational science and engineering code development that are representative of the program's participants. A secondary goal is to characterize how software development tools are used and what enhancements would increase the productivity of scientific-application programmers. These studies also seek to identify "lessons learned"? that can be transferred to the general computational science and engineering community to improve the code development process.  

The NENE code is the fifth science-based code project to be analyzed by the Existing Codes subteam of the DARPA HPCS Productivity Team. The NENE code is an application code for analyzing scientific phenomena and predicting the complex behavior and interaction of individual physical systems and individual particles in the systems. The core NENE development team is expert, agile, and of moderate size, consisting of a professor and another permanent staff member, five post docs, and 11 graduate students. NENE is an example of a distributed development project; the core team is anchored at a university, but as many as 250 individual researchers have made contributions from other locations.