Published: 2017-04-12

xSDK Foundations: Toward an Extreme-scale Scientific Software Development Kit

Roscoe Bartlett, Irina Demeshko, Todd Gamblin, Glenn Hammond, Michael Allen Heroux, Jeffrey Johnson, Alicia Klinvex, Xiaoye Li, Lois Curfman McInnes, J. David Moulton, Daniel Osei-Kuffuor, Jason Sarich, Barry Smith, James Willenbring, Ulrike Meier Yang


Extreme-scale computational science increasingly demands multiscale and multiphysics formulations. Combining software developed by independent groups is imperative: no single team has resources for all predictive science and decision support capabilities. Scientific libraries provide high-quality, reusable software components for constructing applications with improved robustness and portability.  However, without coordination, many libraries cannot be easily composed.  Namespace collisions, inconsistent arguments, lack of third-party software versioning, and additional difficulties make composition costly.

The Extreme-scale Scientific Software Development Kit (xSDK) defines community policies to improve code quality and compatibility across independently developed packages (hypre, PETSc, SuperLU, Trilinos, and Alquimia) and provides a foundation for addressing broader issues in software interoperability, performance portability, and sustainability.  The xSDK provides turnkey installation of member software and seamless combination of aggregate capabilities, and it marks first steps toward extreme-scale scientific software ecosystems from which future applications can be composed rapidly with assured quality and scalability.

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