About us

The research laboratory Sitola was established in 2002 as a joint facility of the Faculty of Informatics and Institute of Computer Science at Masaryk University and the CESNET association. Its research concentrates on advanced technologies for high-performance computing, big data processing, high-speed networking, and planning with scheduling. Theoretical research is driven by applications from various domains represented by, e.g. multimedia processing, chemistry, life sciences and healthcare, cybersecurity, and scheduling in distributed environments with transport planning. The theoretical studies are complemented by the development of sophisticated algorithms and powerful programming tools that are essential outputs of the research. The concrete results include UltraGrid environment for processing and transmission of multimedia in very high resolution (uncompressed 8K), GPU acceleration and autotuning environment, analysis of data from the police investigation, scheduling of the national large-scale computing infrastructure.

The laboratory has unique access to advanced visualization technologies and large-scale infrastructure facilities including high-speed networks (40 Gb/s and more), big data storages (PB and more) and heterogeneous computing resources (GPUs, MIC, NUMA). It is participating in international projects in cooperation with the foreign partners and commercial companies where both graduate and pre-graduate students are involved.

Research Focus

In the area of high performance computing, we mainly focus on automatic code optimization methods (application-parameters autotuning, kernel fusion) and development of highly-optimized parallel programs for conventional CPUs and accelerators. The research is done in close collaboration with CERIT-SC Centre and its research programme.

Our group collaborates on many interdisciplinary projects, mainly in area of computational chemistry and biology. We are responsible for development of novel methods (transport processes in proteins analysis with CaverDock), or parallelization and optimization of existing ones (cryo-EM reconstruction with Xmipp, digital metadynamics in Plumed).

Complex networks are a rich formalism combining graph theory, statistics and complex system modeling. We focus on applications in neuroscience such as changes in whole-brain connectivity in health and disease, and on modeling of dynamical processes on networks, e.g. in historical context.

Very-high quality and low-latency, multi-point audiovisual transmissions bind together research and development in both multimedia technologies and high-speed networks. We participate on the development of the UltraGrid software for low latency and high-quality video network transmissions focusing especially on telemedicine or applications in arts.

Planning and scheduling are research areas with a wide range of applications. Our focus is related to scheduling problems in traffic control, job scheduling and data transfer planning in distributed computing environments or educational timetabling.

More information concerning past and current research topics can be found in the Research section.

Laboratory Equipment

Researchers in our laboratory have access to a unique set of equipment — from high-end commercial systems (e.g., stereo projection in HD resolution or a wide range of videoconferencing apparatuses) to systems of our own construction, part of which has been developed in a cooperation with our foreign partners and commercial companies (e.g., optic multicast switch or a display wall with the 8K resolution (scalable up to 16K).

Laboratory network connection consists of

  • an internal 10x 40Gb/s plus 16x 10Gb/s networking,
  • direct access to the CESNET2 backbone (currently 40Gb/s + 3x 10Gb/s),
  • access to dedicated DWDM channels for particular applications,
  • access to experimental networks such as CzechLight, GLIF or other academic networks included in the GEANT2 project.

Partners

The laboratory collaborates with a wide range of foreign and local sites.

In past, we also cooperated with

Beside already mentioned departments at the university, we also cooperate with the Laboratory of formal methods, logic and algorithms (Formela) with joint projects on formal specification and verification of protocols.

We also have continuous cooperation with commercial partners

Teaching activities

The laboratory is a natural educational workplace at Masaryk university, where all under-gradute, graduate and doctoral students can participate on the ongoing research as well as work on their theses. A specialized seminar takes place in the laboratory each semester. Besides, a number of senior laboratory members held courses at Faculty of Informatics, MU including networking classes or the courses focused on parallel programming.

  • PB001 Introduction to Information Technologies
  • PB002 Foundations of Information Technologies
  • PB156 Computer networks
  • PB165 Graphs and Networks
  • PV197 GPU Programming
  • PV109 History of IT and Trends in Computing
  • PV177 Laboratory of Advanced Network Technologies
  • PV188 Principles of Multimedia Processing and Transport
  • PV192 Parallel technical systems
  • PA039 Supercomputer Architecture and Intensive Computations
  • PA159 Net-centric Computing I.
  • PA160 Net-centric Computing II.
  • PA163 Constraint Programming
  • PA191 Advanced Computer Networking
  • IV124 Complex Networks

Other Activities

Our laboratory has created and operates a unique system for recording and processing lectures or other events, which is deployed to support life broadcasting and archiving of lectures at MU. This system utilizes our research results for effective processing of multimedia data on computer clusters. Laboratory staff also coordinates (as a part of our connection to ICS MU) the deployment of audiovisual, videoconferencing and other ICE systems through the whole MU, especially in the university campus, which is currently in construction.

(c) 2018 SITOLA, Administration