Users' co-design meeting kicks off testing for EDITO's Virtual Ocean Model Lab
From the 19th to the 20th of October 2023, the EDITO-Model Lab project brought together 30 beta-testers and intermediate users at the Mercator Ocean International headquarters in Toulouse, France. This two-day technical very fruitful event was marked by intense co-design sessions, including 27 remote participants who joined in, offering their valuable insights, and raising pivotal questions. The overarching goal of this gathering was to fine-tune the shaping of the new ocean models and simulation environment to be integrated into the European Digital Twin of the Ocean (EDITO) and ensure the diverse needs of its user base are met.
Participants included representatives of various European renowned organisations working on ocean numerical modelling and data science, such as the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Deltares, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Cineca, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), +ATLANTIC CoLAB, Danish Meteorological Institute, Institut Mines-Télécom, University of Bologna, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), and Mercator Ocean International. Together, they embarked on comprehending the scope of the EDITO-Model Lab project and its essential contribution to the development of the EU DTO. Our sister project EDITO-Infra also joined the event and contributed with the presentation of the first test-ready version of the EDITO platform to the EDITO-Model Lab partners.
A highlight of the meeting was an exclusive glimpse into the Virtual Ocean Model Lab (VOML) that the project is constructing. This technologically advanced platform is designed for co-development, implementation, and testing of prototypes for Focus Applications and What-if Scenarios, employing a combination of global to coastal-scale numerical models, all powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The co-design meeting included captivating visualisations and live demonstrations of the evolving EDITO platform. Participants engaged with its core functionalities, such as launching services, uploading data, and connecting to external services. Moreover, they were immersed in interactive sessions with Jupyter Notebooks developed by the project to enable the creation and sharing of documents that encompass live code, equations, and narrative text for data cleaning and transformation, statistical modelling, machine learning, and data visualisation.
The participants got involved in practical applications by testing specific Focus Applications, particularly those currently under development for marine heat waves and coral bleaching. Utilising triggers, they assessed the platform's ability to digitally simulate the real-world impacts of climate change on the ocean.
The event also featured a fruitful exciting hackathon, where participants were challenged to seamlessly integrate VOML demonstrators into the EDITO environment. Additionally, they played a pivotal role in integrating new ocean datasets into the platform, exploring how these datasets can be effectively referenced or ingested.
A test of the Autosubmit tool was also performed. It serves to bridge the Cloud infrastructure (co-located in WEkEO and forthcoming Copernicus Marine Data Store) to Euro HPC supercomputers (such as BSC's Marenostrum 4 & 5, CINECA's Leonardo and CSC's Lumi).
As part of the What-if Scenarios session, participants engaged in designing highly specific simulations on the platform, fine-tuning technical aspects with a particular emphasis on AI requirements.
Technical practical sessions also took place to enable the discovering of core functionalities of the platform, testing parts of future EDITO modelling workflows applied to Copernicus Marine data, as well as discussing publication of new datasets on the Data Lake, technical integration of Focus Applications and What-if Scenarios on the platform, and running AI-based pre/post-processing and modelling tools.
During the conclusion of the second day, participants consolidated the main outcomes of their collaborative efforts. They provided a comprehensive list of user needs, offered feedback on the platform's performance, and identified potential areas for further development. These invaluable insights will guide the EDITO-Model Lab team as they continue constructing the modelling suite of the EU DTO, in anticipation of its first official public demonstration scheduled for 2024.
This technical meeting, together with the Co-Design Review in Delft, The Netherlands, planned for 22-23 November, will enable the closure of the EDITO-Model Lab's VOML design phase and kick-off start of integration activities on the platform. To stay updated on the latest developments of this groundbreaking project follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter/X, and subscribe to our mailing list.
- Portability and interoperability of numerical models and simulation techniques
- Optimisation and adaptation to new and future computing platforms
- Coupling, interaction and hybridisation between different numerical models and Machine Learning components to represent ocean physics, biogeochemistry, biology and ecology
- Flexibility in use, configuration design and simulations to suit applications
- Virtual Ocean Model Lab is a co-development platform to connect developers of various models, users willing to produce simulations using AI and ML, and associated infrastructure providing access to different computing (HPC, CLOUD) and data storage and dissemination resources (data lake)
- Usage examples and user support for Focus Applications and What-if Scenarios