SC17 Denver, CO

SAGE2 9th Annual International SC BOF: Scalable Amplified Group Environment for Global Collaboration

Authors: Dr. Jason Leigh (University of Hawaii, Manoa)

Abstract: SAGE2 (Scalable Amplified Group Environment) is an innovative, open-source, web-based, user-centered platform for small groups or large distributed teams to share and jointly discuss digital media content on tiled displays in order to glean insights and discoveries. SAGE2 treats tiled displays as a seamless ultra-high-resolution desktop, enabling users to juxtapose content from various sources. SAGE2, like its predecessor SAGE (Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment), is the de facto operating system for managing Big Data on tiled walls, providing the scientific community with persistent visualization and collaboration services for global cyberinfrastructure.

Long Description: SAGE2, like the original SAGE, is a framework that provides users with the ability to share digital content with local and remote collaborators on scalable displays. Via wireless, users can simultaneously connect to display walls with their devices, share laptop screens, transfer local documents to the wall using a drag-and-drop interface, access web pages, share local documents with remote users, and use a mouse pointer and keyboard to interact with existing content.

Today, 240 supercomputer centers, government laboratories, universities, and industry research centers worldwide (multiple users/site) use SAGE2 or SAGE to facilitate group interactions. A five-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides major support for SAGE2, and the grant is now in its fifth year. To develop a roadmap for future funding, principals sent users and potential users a survey in March 2017 to request feedback (many people’s names were acquired from prior SC BOFs). Questions ranged from how people use SAGE2, what domain disciplines use SAGE2 and what applications they use or want to use in the current framework, and what future capabilities they want. The Survey’s draft report is available on the SAGE2 website.

The SAGE2 SC BOF provides an unparalleled opportunity for community building, as current stakeholders and potential users attend SC. Though we are aware of ~80 SAGE2 sites (multiple users/site), there have been 3,000 downloads since SAGE2 was announced three years ago; 1,000 downloads in the past year alone! (Note: Though individuals are quick to report bugs or ask questions, they are not so quick to respond to our requests for active site information.)

The SAGE2 SC BOF is a relevant forum for the audience, as the SC and SAGE2 communities overlap almost 100% -- supercomputer centers, government laboratories, universities, and industry research centers -- half U.S. and half international.

The SAGE2 SC BOF has a high level of audience participation. Eight successful BOFs have been held at previous SC conferences, each attracting approximately 50 people and several NSF program managers! Both developers and users contribute, present use cases, announce new features, and discuss future roadmaps.

The SAGE2 SC BOF is not commercial. Vendors who build computing, display and network hardware attend to learn how the research community accesses and displays information. Users of SAGE2, not vendors, may discuss the quality, cost, or ease of use of vendor-specific hardware.

The SAGE2 SC BOF offers attendees a timely topic. Cyberinfrastructure runs the gamut -- from computing, data, networks, and instruments, to software and application codes -- and promises to enable research at unprecedented scales, complexity, resolution, and accuracy. However, it is the research community that must make sense of all the data being amassed, so cyberinfrastructure must extend to people. The SAGE2 framework supports a common and intuitive infrastructure for both individuals and global scientific teams to share and integrate visual analyses of large-scale datasets.

We previously held eight extremely successful SC BOFs. Prior presentations are posted on the SAGE website (; SC16 BOF materials can be found at (

Conference Presentation: pdf

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