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The Cactus Framework and Toolkit Design and Applications Tom Goodale1 Gabrielle Allen1 Gerd Lanfermann1 Joan Masso 2 Thomas Radke1 Edward Seidel1 and John Shalf3 1 Max Planck Institut fu r Gravitationsphysik Albert Einstein Institut Am Mu hlenberg 1 14476 Golm Germany goodale allen lanfer tradke eseidel aei mpg de 2 Departament de F sica Universitat de les Illes Balears E 07071 Palma de Mallorca Spain jmasso gridsystems com 3 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley CA jshalf lbl gov Abstract We describe Cactus a framework for building a variety of computing applications in science and engineering including astrophysics relativity and chemical engineering We first motivate by example the need for such frameworks to support multi platform high performance applications across diverse communities We then describe the design of the latest release of Cactus Version 4 0 a complete rewrite of earlier versions which enables highly modular multi language parallel applications to be developed by single researchers and large collaborations alike Making extensive use of abstractions we detail how we are able to provide the latest advances in computational science such as interchangeable parallel data distribution and high performance IO layers while hiding most details of the underlying computational libraries from the application developer We survey how Cactus 4 0 is being used by various application communities and describe how it will also enable these applications to run on the computational Grids of the near future 1 Application Frameworks in Scientific Computing Virtually all areas of science and engineering as well as an increasing number of other fields are turning to computational science to provide crucial tools to further their disciplines The increasing power of computers offers unprecedented ability to solve complex equations simulate natural and man made complex processes and visualise data as well as providing novel possibilities such as new forms of art

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