Main activities of the Information Initiative Center
   
 As a nationwide joint use facility, the Center aims to promote the advancement of education and research and the implementation and support of education taking advantage of information media, through R&D to facilitate informatization and the development and operation of an information infrastructure.
 
Joint usage/research base
 
 The Center is acknowledged as one of the joint use facilities among eight universities constituting the Joint Usage/Research Center for Interdisciplinary Large-scale Information Infrastructures (JHPCN), a network-type joint usage/research base established in accordance with the provisions of the Enforcement Regulations of the School Education Law.

 

■ Facilities constituting the network-type joint usage/research base
  • Hokkaido University Information Initiative Center
  • Tohoku University Cyber Science Center
  • University of Tokyo Information Technology Center (core base) Tokyo Institute of Technology Global Scientific Information and Computing Center
  • Nagoya University Information Technology Center
  • Kyoto University Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies
  • Osaka University Cybermedia Center
  • Kyushu University Research Institute for Information Technology
 
■ Effective period of acknowledgment: April 1, 2010 – March 31, 2016
 
■ Purpose of the base
 The purpose of this network-type base is to contribute to further advancement and constant development of Japan’s academic and research bases through interdisciplinary joint usage/research concerning so-called grand challenges, which have been considered to be extremely difficult to solve or clarify, using super-large-sized computers, super-high-capacity storages/networks and other information infrastructures. It covers information processing fields in general, including the global environment, energy, substances/materials, genome information, web data, academic information, time-series data from sensor networks, image data and program analysis.
 
■ Operation of the base
 JHPCN is operated by the Steering Committee and Joint Research Project Screening Committee established at the University of Tokyo’s Information Technology Center, which is its core base.
 
■ Promotion of open-type joint research
 For interdisciplinary research using large-scale information infrastructure, JHPCN is conducting 34 joint research projects in FY 2014 (of which 7 is related to our Center), by seeking research projects concerning application of ultra-large-scale numerical calculation and data processing systems and ultra-high-capacity network technology, as well as the field of ultra-large-scale information systems integrating these technologies from the public.
 
Cloud Week@Hokkaido University  (cloud symposium)
 
 As the Hokkaido University Academic Cloud, which is one of Japan’s largest academic clouds, was established in November 2011, symposiums that contribute to exchange of opinions on the current status and future development of cloud research have been held yearly since FY 2012, by gathering cloud-related researchers from Japan and abroad.
 
 The FY 2013 symposium, which was held for three days and involved more than 300 participants contributed to the development of research technology by inviting leaders of various fields in cloud-related technology, holding lectures and exchanging detailed information.

 
Promotion of open-type joint research
 
 In addition to open-type joint research conducted according to the purposes of JHPCN, the Center is conducting its own open-type joint research, in which the Center plays a central role in grand challenge-type research using information infrastructure and academic joint research projects to promote such grand challenges.
 In FY 2014, research projects in the following fields were sought from the public and 19 joint research projects are now being conducted in collaboration with teachers and researchers of Japanese and international research institutes.
 
Innovative high-performance computing infrastructure (HPCI)
 
 Operation of HPCI was commenced in September 2012 by establishing an innovative computation base for joint use to meet diverse user needs, by connecting the next generation supercomputer “K” at RIKEN and supercomputers of universities and research institutes nationwide via a high speed network (SINET4).
 
 The Research Organization for Information Science & Technology (RIST) is in charge of the selection of projects, management of common receptions and other utilization promotion services.
 
 Our Center is participating as a system configuration organization and is providing computation resources. In FY 2014, six research projects using the Center were adopted.
 
Purposes of HPCI
  • To develop and provide a system and mechanism so that a wide range of high-performance computing (HPC) users nationwide with different individual computation resource provision organizations can efficiently use HPC resources anywhere in the country
  • To accelerate extensive HPC utilization ranging from seeds to large-scale research, and to develop/expand the industrial use computational science community and return the results to society by enabling nationwide matching of needs and resources

 
Introduction of Petabyte-class Data Science Unified Cloud Storage
 
 The Center launched Petabyte-class Data Science Unified Cloud Storage service in April 2014. The system consists of a high-capacity storage (total physical capacity: approx. 2PB) and a cloud system with 500 physical cores. As its purpose is to provide resources to HPCI (innovative high-performance computing infrastructure) and JHPCN (Joint Usage/Research Center for Interdisciplinary Large-scale Information Infrastructures), the service is provided mainly to those who were selected for these projects.