SAGE™: Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment


In 2009, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) was awarded a three-year, $1.9-Million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), award # OCI-0943559, for “OptIPlanet Cyber-Mashup,” to create persistent visualization and collaboration services for global cyberinfrastructure. This award enables EVL to further develop, enhance and deploy its popular SAGE middleware to a burgeoning international user community.

As globally distributed research teams work more closely to solve complex problems utilizing advanced cyberinfrastructure, from petascale computers to specialized instrumentation that generates massive amounts of data, the need for collaborative scientific visualization environments is becoming critical for data sharing and analysis, and is propelling the worldwide adoption of ultra-resolution tiled display walls interconnected by optical networks. Also required is a globally connected and well-integrated “operating environment” that provides persistent visualization and collaboration services.

SAGE™ provides such a common environment, or framework, enabling its users to access, display and share a variety of data-intensive information, in a variety of resolutions and formats, from multiple sources, on tiled display walls of arbitrary size. This information can be digital-cinema animations, high-resolution images, high-definition video-teleconferences, presentation slides, documents, spreadsheets or laptop screens. SAGE is cross-platform, community-driven, open-source visualization and collaboration middleware that utilizes shared national and international cyberinfrastructure for the advancement of scientific research and education.

SAGE™ and OptIPortals (tiled display walls) are an outgrowth of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded OptIPuter project, whose goal was to enable collaborating scientists to interactively explore massive amounts of previously uncorrelated data by developing a radical new architecture for shared e-science information technology facilities. Early adapters have already created a burgeoning international user community that is referred to as the OptIPlanet Collaboratory.