Frequently Asked
Questions

An expanding collection of the most frequently asked questions.


FAQ Categories


Users and Accounts  

www.designsafe-ci.org/rw/support/getting-started

Q: Who can be a DesignSafe User?
A: Any natural hazards researcher that needs an environment to store, analyze, curate, publish, and discover data with a community of peers.

Q: How do I get a DesignSafe Account?
A: Fill out and submit the registration form, follow the instructions in the email you receive to confirm your account, then log into DesignSafe.

Q: Why should I get a DesignSafe Account?
A: With an account, you can:

  • Run analysis or simulations with a variety of applications on High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems in the Discovery Workspace
  • Store your data in the Data Depot
  • Collaborate and publish your work with other researchers in My Projects
  • Access data from other researchers in the Published directory

Q: How can I become more involved in DesignSafe?
A: Join our Slack team to participate in discussions and give your input on the site. All feedback is welcome and helps improve the site.


Training  

www.designsafe-ci.org/learning-center/training

Q: Does DesignSafe provide training on how to use the Data Depot and the applications in the Discovery Workspace?
A: Upcoming training opportunities are posted in the DesignSafe Learning Center, sent via email, and posted on the Slack channel. Webinars covering DesignSafe features are hosted monthly during the school year.

Q: Are training webinars recorded and available to view online?
A: Webinars on a variety of topics are recorded and made available online, and there are additional user support videos and documentation.


Data Depot  

www.designsafe-ci.org/data/browser

Q: What types of data can I upload to the Data Depot?
A: There are no restrictions on the type of data you can upload to the Data Depot. Whatever data you need to perform your research is welcomed and encouraged!

Q: How much data can I upload to the Data Depot?
A: Data storage is allocated by the gigabyte-year on a per user basis. Allocation limits are as follows:

  • Base Allocation: 50 GB – Provided to all registered users
  • Startup Allocation: up to 1 TB – For researchers in need of more than the base allocation. To receive this allocation, send a request and await approval from an internal review.
  • Research Allocation: 100 TB (negotiable) – For researchers in need of more than the startup allocation. To receive this allocation, send a request and await approval from an internal review.
  • Educational Allocation: up to 1 TB –  For teachers using DesignSafe for educational purposes. To receive this allocation, send a request and await approval from an internal review.
  • Additional Allocation: Request via XSEDE or purchase $100/TB/year

Q: How can I upload data from my computer to My Data in the Data Depot?
A: There are a few different ways to upload data from your local machine:

  • Select the Add button, then File upload to begin uploading data from your local machine. You can browse and select files or drag and drop files into the window that appears.
  • Connect to your favorite cloud storage provider. We currently support integration with Box and Dropbox. Support for Google Drive and others is coming soon.

Q: What is My Projects?
A: My Projects is a place where you can curate and publish data with other collaborators. Data models are integrated to help you easily curate your data. You do not need to be the PI to create a project, so Experimental Facilities can create projects for their users.

Q: How do I connect to Box.com, Dropbox or Google Drive?
A: You can connect to cloud storage providers in your Account Profile. We currently support integration with Box and Dropbox and will be adding support for Google Drive.

Q: Where can I find the NEES Public Data that was available in the NEEShub?
A: The Published directory in the Data Depot holds the NEES Public Data. Projects published using DesignSafe will be hosted there as well. The DOIs for the NEES Public Data point to the Data Depot.


Discovery Workspace  

www.designsafe-ci.org/rw/workspace

Q: I don't see the application I need in the Discovery Workspace. How can I get my application added?
A: Submit a ticket and we will work with you to add your application to the Discovery Workspace. We can make your application available privately to you, or if it's a widely used code we can make it publicly available to all users.

Q: What computing resources are used when a job is submitted?
A: One Stampede node is requested, containing 16 cores and 32GB of memory. For more info, visit the Stampede user guide.


MATLAB  

www.designsafe-ci.org/rw/workspace

Q: Do I need to provide my own license to run MATLAB?
A: No, you don’t need to provide your own license to run MATLAB in the Discovery Workspace. Our license with MathWorks allows for academic use and you can be from any academic institution. We have a process whereby you request access to MATLAB and we then verify you are an academic user prior to adding you to the license. Simply click on MATLAB in the Discovery Workspace to start the process of requesting access.

Q: Who can use MATLAB on DesignSafe?
A: Our license with MathWorks allows for academic use and you can be from any academic institution. We have a process whereby you request access to MATLAB and we then verify you are an academic user prior to adding you to the license. Simply click on MATLAB in the Discovery Workspace to start the process of requesting access.

Q: Why won’t my MATLAB job start and it gets stuck at Staging Inputs?
A: If you are starting up with a folder that has a large number of files and/or a significant number of MB’s, the startup may take too long and time out. Try opening MATLAB with an empty or smaller folder and then once in MATLAB you can switch directories.

Q: Where did my MATLAB job output go?
A: If you do not specify a location, the default output is shown in the grayed-out text in the Job Output Archive Location field in the job submission form, which is your My Data/Archive/Jobs/YYYY-MO-DD/JobName folder.


Jupyter  

www.designsafe-ci.org/rw/workspace

Q: What is Jupyter?
A: The Jupyter Notebook is a web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and explanatory text. A more detailed description including a list of more than 40 supported programming languages can be found on the Jupyter website.

Q: What do people do with Jupyter?
A: Many people use Jupyter in a similar fashion as they use MATLAB to analyze and plot their data. We will be sharing example Jupyter Notebooks soon that you can copy into your My Data and customize for your research. We also provide Jupyter training.


OpenSees  

www.designsafe-ci.org/rw/workspace

Q: What research is enabled by OpenSees?
A: The Open System for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (OpenSees) is a software framework for simulating the seismic response of structural and geotechnical systems.
A more detailed description can be found on the OpenSees website.

Q: What versions of OpenSees are available on DesignSafe?
A: OpenSeesMP and OpenSeesSP are both available in the Discovery Workspace and use TACC’s HPC resources. These are recommended for longer-running jobs. OpenSees Express performs analysis using a single Tcl script and runs on a virtual machine instead of an HPC system to avoid queue time.

Q: What is OpenSees Express?
A: OpenSees Express performs analysis using a single Tcl script, and runs on a virtual machine instead of an HPC system to avoid queue time.

Q: Where did my OpenSees job output go?
A: If you do not specify a location, the default output is shown in the grayed-out text in the Job Output Archive Location field in the job submission form, which is your My Data/Archive/Jobs/YYYY-MO-DD/JobName folder.


ADCIRC  

www.designsafe-ci.org/rw/workspace

Q: What research is enabled by ADCIRC?
A: ADCIRC is a system of computer programs for solving time dependent, free surface circulation and transport problems in two and three dimensions. These programs utilize the finite element method in space allowing the use of highly flexible, unstructured grids. Typical ADCIRC applications have included:

  • prediction of storm surge and flooding
  • modeling tides and wind driven circulation
  • larval transport studies
  • near shore marine operations
  • dredging feasibility and material disposal studies

A more detailed description can be found on the ADCIRC website.

Q: Where did my ADCIRC job output go?
A: If you do not specify a location, the default output is shown in the grayed-out text in the Job Output Archive Location field in the job submission form, which is your My Data/Archive/Jobs/YYYY-MO-DD/JobName folder.

Q: Where did my ADCIRC job output go?
A: If you do not specify a location, the default output is shown in the grayed out text in the Job Output Archive Location field in the job submission form, which is your My Data/Archive/Jobs/YYYY-MO-DD/JobName folder.


OpenFOAM  

www.designsafe-ci.org/rw/workspace

Q: What research is enabled by OpenFOAM?
A: OpenFOAM has an extensive range of features to solve anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to acoustics, solid mechanics and electromagnetics.
A more detailed description can be found on the OpenFOAM website.

Q: Where did my OpenFOAM job output go?
A: If you do not specify a location, the default output is shown in the grayed-out text in the Job Output Archive Location field in the job submission form, which is your My Data/Archive/Jobs/YYYY-MO-DD/JobName folder.


ParaView  

www.designsafe-ci.org/rw/workspace

Q: What data analysis and visualization capabilities are enabled by ParaView?
A: ParaView is an open-source data analysis and visualization application. ParaView users can quickly build visualizations to analyze their data using qualitative and quantitative techniques.

A more detailed description can be found on the ParaView website.

Q: Where did my ParaView job output go?
A: If you do not specify a location, the default output is shown in the grayed-out text in the Job Output Archive Location field in the job submission form, which is your My Data/Archive/Jobs/YYYY-MO-DD/JobName folder.


Experimental Facilities 

www.designsafe-ci.org/facilities/experimental

Q: What Experimental Facilities are available to the natural hazards engineering community?
A: You can explore the NSF NHERI Program Experimental Facilities on our website. Research instruments at the facilities include wind tunnels, shake tables, centrifuges, wave pools, and mobile shaker trucks.

Q: How can I learn more about the research capabilities and how to gain access to the Experimental Facilities?
A: Each facility hosts workshops to provide prospective users with the knowledge of a facility's capabilities and discuss details toward developing research proposals, such as to the NSF Engineering for Natural Hazards Program.


Citing DesignSafe 

Q: How do I cite my use of DesignSafe in my papers, presentations, and publications?
A: DesignSafe has published a marker paper that you can cite as a reference:

Rathje, E., Dawson, C. Padgett, J.E., Pinelli, J.-P., Stanzione, D., Adair, A., Arduino, P., Brandenberg, S.J., Cockerill, T., Dey, C., Esteva, M., Haan, Jr., F.L., Hanlon, M., Kareem, A., Lowes, L., Mock, S., and Mosqueda, G. 2017. “DesignSafe: A New Cyberinfrastructure for Natural Hazards Engineering,” ASCE Natural Hazards Review, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000246.