Laboratory  of  Information  Technologies  

Formation and development

aboratory of
Techniques and Automation

( since 2000 - LIT )

In the late 50s academician N. Bogoliubov organized a mathematical group at the Laboratory of Theoretical Physics. Later on this group moved to LCTA and became its "brain" centre. This mathematical group was reinforced with aptitude specialists and became a basis for two leading scientific departments. These departments delt with the development of mathematical simulation methods for different nuclear physical processes, the creation of extended programming systems based on standard algorithmic languages for processing a great amount of experimental and theoretical data and algebraic computations applied to quantum field calculations of theorists.

The Laboratory of Computing Techniques and Automation was founded in 1966 by resolutions of the 20-th Session of the JINR Scientific Council and the Committee of Plenipotentiaries. It was organized on the initiative of academician N. N. Bogoliubov, JINR Director, on the base of the Institute's Computing Centre as well as experimental data processing and automation departments of LHE and LNP. By the JINR order No.149 of August 19,1966, the LCTA was oblidged to:

  • comprehensive development of Computing Techniques and programming aspects at JINR such as automation principles of experimental data processing and mathematical calculations for theoretical and experimental physical research;
  • maintenance of the entire computer complex for experimental data processing and, primarily, measurements of the pictures obtained from the bubble and spark chambers at JINR and at the accelerator in Serpukhov;
  • support of communications and joint works coordination of JINR Member-State institutes on the issues of computing, programming and further development of data processing and other automation aspects;
  • coordination of principle works on creation and development of measuring centres in the JINR laboratories and promotion of computers in experimental methods;

The nearest objectives for 1966-1967 were formulated in the order as follows:

- design and development of scanning devices and means of communication of computers with experimental installations at JINR;
- mathematical processing of the experimental data obtained in other research laboratories;
- creation of the measuring and computing complex at JINR;
- maintenance and, if necessary, modernization of LCTA computers and JINR measuring centres;
- installation of the HPD complex;
- organization of the institute centre for the measurement of film information.

The list of the objectives shows the problems to be solved by LCTA at the primary stage of its formation 30 years ago. LCTA consisted of 7 main departments then :

  1. the department of basic machines (mainframes);
  2. measuring centres of laboratories;
  3. the automation department where scanning devices were designed;
  4. mathematical methods of data processing;
  5. computational mathematics;
  6. the department of film information processing (data handling department);
  7. the engineering division (technical and environmental service).

Under the chairmanship of a JINR Vice-Director a Coordination Council was established consisting of the laboratories' representatives for coordinating works on automation and computing technigues which:

  1. considered topical plans of the JINR laboratories in the domain of computing and automation facilities to coordinate all works carried out at JINR in this sphere;
  2. distributed the budget of computer time between the laboratories;
  3. distributed pictures processing resources;
  4. considered the issues of purchasing the equipment required to maintain the automation and computing techniques.

A Corresponding Member of the USSR AS M.G.Mescheryakov was elected as LCTA Director. Candidate of Technical Sciences Georgij Ivanovich Zabijakin and Candidate of Physics and Mathematics N.N. Govorun became his deputies in scientific work. In 1988 Prof. N.N. Govorun, a Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, became LCTA Director.

Rudolf Pose, Vladimir Penev, Aleksandr Andreevich Karlov, Sergei Schelev, Zoltan Zamori, Zbignew Hoffman, Mikhael Suk, Nikolai Angelov were subsequently selected to the post of the LCTA Deputy Director.

From 1989 to 2000, the Laboratory was headed by professor Rudolf Pose, and Vice Directors of Scientific work were professor Igor Victorovich Puzynin and Vladimir Vasilievich Korenkov, Candidate of Physics and Mathematics.

The LCTA mathematicians headed by Prof. Zhidkov and Prof. Puzynin have formed a scientific trend related to solving the non-linear problems of physics. Within this trend they've performed investigations recognized in many scientific centres worldwide and established a scientific school a distinctive feature of which is in the conjunction of theoretical studies and their numerical realization in the modern computing techniques.

Works on creation and development of the JINR Central Computing Complex were rapidly advanced. Almost at the same time in 1967-1968 the CDC-1604 computers and BESM-6 were installed. For a long time the CDC-1604 was used in HPD automatic machine control, and the BESM-6 served as a centre of the JINR Computing complex. The software support and the equipment delivered together with the BESM-6 machine did not fully conform to the requirements of the JINR Central Computing Complex, so the group headed by N.N. Govorun began working on its improvement. In 1968 an International team of programmers from Russia, Germany, Hungary and Korea led by I.N. Silin and V.P. Shirikov joined their efforts and prepared a first version of the Fortran compilar which became the basis of a complete programming system and an own version of the efficient operating system "Dubna". A group of the engineers improved a spare channel to hook up eight additional fast communication lines with a throughput of 500 KB/sec, doubled the size of operating memory, connected magnetic disks and standard magnetic tapes. The fulfillment of these works allowed to make a hierarchical structure of the computing complex when the remote BESM-4 type computers were connected to the BESM-6, Minsk, I/O stations on the base of minicomputers of M-6000 type,TPA etc.. In 1972 a new CDC-6200 computer was installed in the Central Computing Complex which was later upgraded to the CDC-6500. This computer was similar to CERN computers. It provided a high-order precision for scientific calculations and had two central processors. Because of the growing number of users simultaneously working on the BESM-6 and the CDC computers, a unified terminal access system has been installed for these two computers. INTERCOM became the input language of this system.

The first computers of the unified system ( ES-computers compatible to IBM seria 360 ) appeared in 1980s. The experienced and high-skilled system analysts and engineers successfully overcame the difficulties as regards to the techniques. Due to the TERM subsystem allowing to expand OS ES capabilities and specially designed concentrator computers, the ES series were equipped with terminals. In 1983 construction on the general network structures for the unified high-speed communication media for computers and terminals started. In 1985 a JINR terminal network JINET (Joint Institute Network) was put into operation. A 75-ohm coaxile cable (of 12 km length) became a transmitting media basis. Software support of the network equipment for the JINR local computing network was completely worked out at LCTA Scientific Department on development and operation of the mathematical and software support led by prof. V.P. Shirikov. The network JINET became the abonent of the international computer network through the packets communication centre in Moscow All-Union Research Institute of Applied Automation Systems. Since late 80s organization began on functioning at the same time the network JINET and the high-speed network ETHERNET. By the end of 1989 in LCTA on the cable of the new network two VAX-8350 computers were put into operation. In 1990 the high-speed (up to 10 MB/sec) ETHERNET left the LCTA building and spread all over the half of the Institute site. Immediately after appearing e-mail in Russia, a regional free RelCom network node was first created at JINR, Dubna. Integration problems of the mail-node and its existence in JINET and later on in ETHERNET have been solved. In the first half of 90-th years, two satellite channels ( to Germany and Italy ) were created, which connected JINR local network to international High Energy Physics Network ( HEPNET ) and Internet, increasing the facilities of existing terrestrial Internet link .

For many years at LCTA the automatic and semiautomatic systems (HPD, AELT, Spiral Reader) were under development for scanning and measurement of the chamber photographs, that were the main source for physical results in High Energy Physics for years. The work resulted in the establishment of a powerful centre for film processing. It has provided mass chamber pictures processing, now to a lesser degree than several years ago though. The CERN engineering staff provided a great support in the course of the creation of the centre.

The Laboratory provided software support for electronic experiments of the charged particle accelerators.

The LCTA staff paid much attention to development of the chamber film processing tools as well as introduction of modern software, program libraries developed in the Institute and other centres, in the JINR Member-State Institutes.

Symposia, conferences, and schools are regularly held at LCTA on different problems, such as computer application to scientific research, automation of physical research, simulation and experimental data processing, computer algebra etc.. In these projects JINR Member-State specialists are working together with scientists from other countries and international research centres.

There is a Scientific Council which approves degrees of doctor of science and candidate of science at LCTA:
01.01.07. - computational mathematics;
05.13.11. - mathematical and software support of computers, complexes, systems and networks;
05.13.18. - applications of computing techniques, mathematical simulation and mathematical methods for scientific collaborations.

For many years the Scientific Council was led by Corresponding Members of the USSR AS M.G. Mescheryakov (chairman) and N.N. Govorun (vice-chairman). At present Prof. E.P. Zhidkov is the chairman of Scientific Council and Prof. V.P. Shirikov is the vice-chairman of the Council.

Since the year of 1970 the recommendations of experts have made the basis of the LCTA topical plans for research and international cooperation on developing the problems of the JINR measuring and computing complex. In the long-term planning of research under way at LCTA financial means of JINR and accessibility of new modern computers have been taken into account. In the early nineties a new conception of the LCTA development has to be worked out. This conception was worked out and approved by the JINR Scientific Council in 1993.

In response to the extensive development of communication means, in the last few years one has observed a turn to a distributed computing, global information society and development of information technologies. In 2000, the 88-th session of the JINR Scientific Council passed a decision to reorganize the Laboratory of Computing Techniques and Automation (LCTA) into the Laboratory of Information Technologies (LIT). The main LIT tasks are to provide operation and development of the JINR of the computing and networking infrastructure.

From 2000 to 2003 Professor Igor Victorovich Puzynin was LIT Director, and deputy directors of scientific work were Victor Vladimirovich Ivanov - Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Vladimir Vasilievich Korenkov - Candidate of Physics and Mathematics, and Alexander Polanskii - Candidate of Physics and Mathematics.

At present, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics Victor Vladimirovich Ivanov - is LIT Director, and deputy directors of scientific work are Petr Valentinovich Zrelov - Candidate of Physics and Mathematics, Vladimir Vasilievich Korenkov - Candidate of Physics and Mathematics, and Gheorghe Adam - Doctor of Physics and Mathematics.

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