About PATh

The Partnership to Advance Throughput Computing (PATh) is a project funded by NSF’s OAC Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) program in order to address the needs of the rapidly growing community of faculty and students who are embracing Distributed High Throughput Computing (dHTC) technologies and services to advance their research. Across the science and engineering community, a growing number of single-PI groups are joining the cohort of international physical science collaborations who have depended on the dHTC paradigm for decades.

PATh brings together two entities with a strong history of supporting dHTC-enabled research: the Center for High Throughput Computing (CHTC) and the OSG Consortium. The team that founded CHTC at University of Wisconsin–Madison pioneered, in the mid 1990s, the concept and principles of HTC and has advanced and sustained the HTCondor Software Suite (HTCSS) ever since. Roughly in parallel and driven by the needs of physics researchers, a diverse and multidisciplinary collaboration laid the foundation of the OSG in the late 1990s to develop, deploy, operate, and sustain a shared and global dHTC ecosystem of sites spanning geographic and administrative boundaries.

The partnership firmly believes in dHTC as an accessible computing paradigm which supports the democratization of research computing to include researchers and organizations otherwise underrepresented in the national CI ecosystem. Our work is founded on universal principles like sharing, autonomy, unity of purpose, and mutual trust. Our goal is to deliver adoption of technologies and methodologies that is based on knowledge and understanding. Students, industry, federal agencies, and the public are critical elements in achieving this goal and in maximizing broad and long-term societal impact in areas like human health, security, and national competitiveness. All areas of PATh are engaged in a coordinated effort across campuses and science domains that couples CI services and capabilities with the empowerment of a diverse workforce.

PATh’s distributed HTC approach strives to increase the national return on investment of compute resources by enabling institutions to share computing capacity, simultaneously maximizing utilization while also giving smaller campuses easier access to this vital capacity. PATh is aligned with the NSF National CI Coordination Services blueprint’s goal of producing an “an agile, integrated, robust, trustworthy and sustainable CI ecosystem that drives new thinking and transformative discoveries in all areas of science and engineering research and education.” The techniques advanced by PATh serve the national interest by promoting the progress of science, from academic research groups, to large collaborations, institutions, and industry, with training and outreach components designed and executed to empower the communities that can benefit from these services.

The institutions in the partnership are: