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BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Have you ever wondered about the exact impact of the resources universities devote to cyberinfrastructure? Now, decision-makers in higher education will be able to easily find out.

Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, Indiana University is developing an online service that will make it easier for university administrators to understand the importance of funding related to IT systems based at their institutions. The novel functionality will be available as a module for Open XDMoD (XD Metrics on Demand), which was developed by the University at Buffalo Center for Computational Research (CCR).

Open XDMoD is an NSF-funded, open-source tool designed for the comprehensive management of cyberinfrastructure by providing a wide range of metrics and performance diagnostics for high performance computing (HPC) resources. A hosted version, known simply as XDMOD, was created specifically for XSEDE resources.

IU’s add-on module, called Open XDMoD Value Analytics (XDMoD-VA), will more precisely measure the impact of campus-based cyberinfrastructure through the tracking of grant outcomes and publication data.

Some details about the grant:

NSF’s EAGER (EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) award. The award amount is nearly $300,000 and the funding duration is 18 months. The Open XDMoD Value Analytics service is being developed by IU’s Research Technologies division, in conjunction with IU’s Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center (CNS) and the University at Buffalo’s CCR.

“Indiana University has been interested in documenting, describing, and understanding the value of cyberinfrastructure since 1991,” said Craig Stewart, IU associate dean, Research Technologies, and executive director, Pervasive Technology Institute. “This grant represents the continuation and deepening of two-and-a-half decades of work of ensuring that we’re making the best use of taxpayer money and university funds as we deploy cyberinfrastructure to the national research community.”

Open XDMoD Value Analytics will allow university administrators to make informed decisions about funding campus-based cyberinfrastructure for their institutions by enabling a deeper understanding of how grants and publications are supported by local cyberinfrastructure.

“Ultimately, the real value of investing in campus cyberinfrastructure comes in knowing that it’s aiding and supporting our researchers,” said Matt Link, IU Research Technologies director of systems.

Link and IU Research Technologies colleague Robert Henschel, senior manager for the Scientific Applications and Performance Tuning team, collaborated with the CNS team led by Dr. Katy Börner, IU distinguished professor of information science, and Dr. Thomas Furlani, director of the University at Buffalo Center for Computational Research.

“We are excited to be working with the Indiana team to incorporate this capability into Open XDMoD,” said Furlani. “The addition of value analytics to Open XDMoD will greatly expand its utility to managers and administrators of advanced cyberinfrastructure by providing, for the first time, quantitative measures of return on investment together with a visual means of communicating return on investment.”

The Open XDMoD Value Analytics module is being developed for institutions to install locally within an existing Open XDMoD installation to track grant outcomes and publications of their local researchers.

Börner and her team at CNS will develop novel methods to track, analyze and visualize publications by faculty, a primary method used to evaluate scholarly performance.

“Since its inception in 2003, XSEDE has provided 23 billion CPU hours to 4,845 principal investigators. More than 2,660 scientific publications cite XSEDE demonstrating its scholarly impact,” said Börner. “This project will develop data mining and visualization capabilities that support the detailed analysis and visual communication of XSEDE usage and its impact on scholarly productivity and collaboration in support of data-driven decision making by resource providers and consumers.”

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