Use Case Registry

The following 137 use cases are grouped by area. Click on the link icons in the tables below for more information about each use case.

Account Management

Like any computer system, XSEDE needs a way to identity the people who use it, limit/control its use, and ensure that community rules and expectations are honored.

XSEDE identity management describes how we identify individual people and their relationships with other systems and other organizations. XSEDE group management describes how we organize and name groups of individuals. Finally, XSEDE allocation management describes how our community authorizes and/or limits the use of community services by specific individuals or groups.

Group Management:

These use cases describe how XSEDE users, staff, and partners create and manage groups of registered users for various purposes. In its simplest form, a group is a list of people, maintained for some ongoing purpose. Groups can be used to coordinate research teams (e.g., authorizing use of a specific XSEDE allocation), for communication (e.g., managing an email list), or for project management (e.g., task assignments). More generally, groups can be used as a basis for authorization decisions by services that use the XSEDE identity platform. (See identity management use cases IDM-* and system functions CAN-6 and CAN-9.)

(13 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
GRP-01 Researcher manages membership of a project group
GRP-02 Manually create a group
GRP-03 Manually view or manage the configuration or membership of a group
GRP-05 Invite members to a group
GRP-06 Request membership in a group
GRP-09 Synchronize an external group
GRP-10 Automate a group's configuration
GRP-12 Use groups to control access within an XSEDE L1 or L2 resource
GRP-13 Use a group to control access within an XSEDE service
GRP-14 Use a group to control access within an external resource
GRP-15 Use a group for task assignments within a staff tool
GRP-16 Use a group for email distribution
GRP-17 Drive project membership with an email message


Identity Management:

How researchers, scientists, and other community members register themselves with the XSEDE system, manage their profile information, and authenticate their identities when using XSEDE services

(13 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
IDM-01 Register with XSEDE
IDM-02 Login to XSEDE user portal with username/password
IDM-03 Change an XSEDE user profile
IDM-04 Login to XSEDE user portal with a non-XSEDE identity
IDM-05 Link or unlink a non-XSEDE identity
IDM-06 Login to a science gateway with an XSEDE identity
IDM-07 Login to a locally installed application with XSEDE username/password
IDM-08 Login to a locally installed application with SSH/X.509 key
IDM-10 Authenticate to an XSEDE identity using WS-Trust Secure Token Service
IDM-11 Use an XSEDE identity for InCommon authentication
IDM-12 Single sign-on for XSEDE OpenStack resources
IDM-13 Authenticate to XSEDE OpenStack APIs
IDM-14 SSH access using XSEDE identities for education


Allocation Management:

The use cases in this area describe how access to specific XSEDE resources is managed, including: the project proposal process, the proposal review process, and the process of allocating XSEDE resources to specific projects.

One of XSEDE's central missions is to facilitate the use of the most powerful public computers in the United States. These computers are powerful, but the demand to use them is larger than the capacity they offer. The scientific community must assign access to these resources based on national priorities. The allocation system described in these use cases is an important part of the overall XSEDE system. A central allocation system--one that researchers can use to request access to many resources--is important to ensure the easiest access by researchers.

(10 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
P2-01 Establish an Allocations Process
P2-02 Establish allocation review panel
P2-03 Add resources to allocations process
P2-04 Establish an allocation Submission Opportunity
P2-05 Submission of Allocation Request
P2-06 Manage review of Submissions to an Allocations Opportunity
P2-07 Submission of a Review
P2-08 Award or reject allocation request
P2-09 Allocation data reporting and access
P2-10 Customize allocation request data fields


Community Building

XSEDE's original model (described in the Scientific Computing and Scientific Data use case areas) was to provide enhanced computing services to a modest set of highly focused research projects. But XSEDE is always exploring ways to help larger portions of the research community. The use cases in this area describe ways that XSEDE serves a broader community of researchers and scientists, both by offering services that can be used by a wider range of researchers and also by providing opportunities for new service providers to reach the XSEDE community.

Campus Bridging:

These use cases describe how campus information technology (IT) administrators and campus-based research projects: (a) treat XSEDE's resources as extensions of their campus environments, (b) offer services at their campuses to others in the XSEDE community, and (c) deliver new services to their campuses that leverage XSEDE’s experiences and solutions.

(15 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
CB-01 InCommon-based Authentication
CB-02 Share the XSEDE “environment” with campus resources
CB-03 Remote desktop services for researchers
CB-04 Access campus research data from XSEDE resources
CB-05 Workflow automation combining XSEDE and campus resources
CB-06 Sharing computational facilities among campuses
CB-07 Support for commercial service providers
CB-08 Use XSEDE SSO with campus login servers
CB-09 Access an XSEDE-hosted research data collection from campus
CB-10 Synchronize research data between campus and XSEDE resources
CB-11 Archive research data on an XSEDE resource
CB-12 Setup monitoring and usage reporting for a campus HPC resource
CB-13 Provide a simple interface to access any of the high-throughput computing queues available to a campus
CB-14 Submit tasks to any of the high-throughput computing queues available to a campus
CB-15 Develop an application or gateway that submits tasks to any of the high-throughput computing queues available to a campus


Community Infrastructure:

The XSEDE system is explicitly intended to be open and extensible: a "community infrastructure." Unlike a stand-alone product, XSEDE provides a framework for delivering research services and applications. In order to use this framework, community members (application developers, service providers, campus IT administrators) must be able to access details about the system’s design, implementation status, and the driving user needs.

Note: In these use cases, the terms “service” and “service provider” are used broadly. Any of the following would be examples of “services” if they are shared with researchers via XSEDE: a computer system, a website or web-based application, a computer system with a specific software application installed for use, a high-capacity data storage device, a long-term data archiving service, a virtual machine (IaaS) host, a software repository, or an identity provider.

(11 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
CI-01 Access system information
CI-02 Manually publish system information
CI-03 Automate changes to system information
CI-04 Publish current and desired system capabilities, their availability, and their implementation status
CI-05 Discover current and desired system capabilities, their availability, and their implementation status
CI-06 Rate the priority or quality of a community need or contribution
CI-07 Discuss a community activity
CI-08 Conduct an engineering review of a community contribution
CI-09 Discover and inspect system capabilities currently under development
CI-10 Discover and review engineering documents for a specific capability or component
CI-11 Manage the source code, documentation, and installable packages for a capability


OSG/LHC Integration:

This set of use cases was contributed to XSEDE by the ATLAS project: one of several scientific teams working with experimental data generated by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The use cases were heavily influenced by Open Science Grid (OSG) architectural concepts. These combined use cases were a proposal for how to make XSEDE resources behave similarly to OSG's Compute Elements (CEs) and Storage Elements (SEs), and thus add XSEDE resources to the set of services available to OSG Virtual Organizations (VOs). The XSEDE-1 Architecture & Design team felt that these use cases, as currently written, were too closely tied to the one-of-a-kind LHC instrument, and too prescriptive of a specific implementation to be useful in the XSEDE foundational architecture. Though they are not recognized as a well-understood way to use the XSEDE system, they may serve both as a basis for understanding what OSG-based projects expect from a system and as a starting point for documenting how XSEDE can be used by projects that already use OSG. The Federation & Interoperation use cases, which are accepted as well-understood XSEDE use patterns, resulted from generalizing these OSG/LHC-specific use cases.

(6 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
FCI-01 VO authentication (myProxy services)
FCI-02 Pilot job submission (set up CE)
FCI-03 Software installation (CVMFS)
FCI-04 Data management (set up SE)
FCI-05 Set up full PanDA site (incl. DB access)
FCI-06 Use as ATLAS production site


Federation and Interoperation:

How XSEDE can contribute to scientific projects that already make use of other cyberinfrastructure resources.

(1 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
FI-01 A scientist who is trying to utilize as many resources as possible


Research Coordination:

Beyond supporting individual research projects, the XSEDE system can also serve as a gathering point for researchers who share common research topics or methods. The use cases in this area describe how researchers can use XSEDE to organize themselves as research communities and coordinate their activities for the greater good.

(4 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
RC-01 Participate in a research discussion forum
RC-02 Manage usage within an allocation
RC-03 Install software on a resource for use by a research community
RC-04 Find where a specific application or service is available within the system


Science Gateways:

Research communities use XSEDE and XSEDE resources to power their "science gateways," supporting the specialized needs of research fields, sub-fields, and joint initiatives. Science gateways are shared applications--most often web-based--that are used by groups of researchers with similar needs. Each gateway is developed and operated by one or more leaders in the research field, who applies for an XSEDE allocation to serve the community. Gateways may also help researchers with their own XSEDE allocations to use XSEDE resources by providing a more customized, user-friendly interface.

(6 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
SGW-01 Science Gateway user authentication and identity management
SGW-02 Science Gateway community file transfers
SGW-03 Science Gateway community execution management
SGW-04 Data movement between gateway users' desktops/laptops and XSEDE resources
SGW-05 Science Gateways Resource Information Management
SGW-06 Estimate when a submitted job is likely to be finished


Service Provider Integration:

XSEDE system features that allow Service Providers (SPs) to integrate their resources with the rest of the XSEDE system.

(8 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
SPI-01 Resource integration console
SPI-02 Guided resource discovery 2017-04-03
SPI-03 View all resource information
SPI-04 Access resource information from an application
SPI-05 Active account information
SPI-06 Emergency account suspension
SPI-07 Enable a research community to install software on a resource
SPI-08 Register availability of a specific application or service for use


Enabling Functions (CAN)

These are the central, enabling functions provided by the XSEDE system. They provide the framework for satisfying most--if not all--of XSEDE's user-facing use cases.

The user-facing use cases (all use cases not in this category) describe what people expect to do with the XSEDE system. (Each user-facing use case emphasizes the issues of particular importance to a specific research purpose.) These "canonical" use cases describe the basic functions that the system must provide in order to satisfy all of those expectations.

(11 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
CAN-01 Run a Remote Job
CAN-02 Managed File Transfer
CAN-03 Remote File Access
CAN-04 Interactive Login
CAN-05 Record and summarize the use of a service
CAN-06 Authenticate with an application
CAN-07 Subscribe to Resource Information
CAN-08 Search for Resource Information
CAN-09 User Management
CAN-11 Publish Resource Information
CAN-12 Update Resource Information


Scientific Computing

Scientific computing is the heart of the XSEDE community. Specifically, computing at a level that requires the resources of a nation. The use cases in this area describe how researchers access and use supercomputers provided by service providers who are, in turn, sponsored by U.S. government agencies, notably the National Science Foundation. Each category in this area describes a style of computing used in research computing.

High Performance:

These use cases describe the most common ways in which researchers use XSEDE's HPC resources. 

The XSEDE system has its origins in providing leading-edge high-performance computing (HPC) systems to researchers and scientists. While service providers (SPs) design, construct, and operate the HPC resources themselves, the XSEDE system smooths the way for researchers by providing a system-wide website, documentation, registration and account management services, the XSEDE allocation system, and tools to help move code and data into and out of individual resources.

(3 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
HPC-01 User (team) works with a single HPC system
HPC-02 User (team) works with >1 HPC system
HPC-03 User (team) runs an automated workflow engine


High Throughput:

These use cases describe the most common ways that researchers use XSEDE's high-throughput computing (HTC) resources.

Also known as "capacity computing," high-throughput computing allows researchers to run a very large number of modeling, simulation, or data analysis tasks in a short amount of time. The resources required by each task can be small (similar to what one could run on a basic computer) or very large (requiring more active memory or CPU cycles than "normal" computers provide). What makes HTC unique is the fact that many runs of the same code are required to complete a research project. XSEDE's HTC resources allow researchers to complete projects faster than they could if they were limited to the computers available in their own offices, labs, or research institutions.

(4 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
HTC-01 Run a job set without dependencies
HTC-02 Run a job set with dependencies
HTC-03 Run a job set with dependencies using pilot jobs
HTC-04 Run a job set with dependencies, on multiple resources



These use cases describe the typical XSEDE user needs in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS or "cloud") area. IAAS-1 through IAAS-4 describe how XSEDE IaaS services are used by end users. IAAS-5 through IAAS-7 describe how XSEDE IaaS services are shared within a research community with shared computing needs. IAAS-8 and IAAS-9 describes how an application or science gateway developer can automate use of XSEDE IaaS services via a software API.

(9 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
IAAS-1 Request to use an IaaS host for research
IAAS-2 Self-service acquire and use a virtual computer system
IAAS-3 Self-service acquire and use a hosted storage volume
IAAS-4 Request and use a virtual cluster
IAAS-5 Publish a virtual computer system or storage volume
IAAS-6 Discover a relevant computer system or storage volume
IAAS-7 Create an instance of a published computer system or storage volume
IAAS-8 Dynamically acquire and manage hosted computer systems and/or storage volumes
IAAS-9 Reliably acquire and manage hosted computer systems and/or storage volumes


Scientific Workflows:

These use cases describe how researchers can complete a large--and sometimes intricately complex--set of computing tasks required by their research on XSEDE resources.

Data-intensive research is becoming increasingly common, and novel research problems require many data processing tasks to assemble the right data, put it into forms suitable for advanced analysis techniques, and convert the resulting output into useful forms for answering research questions. It's important to automate these tasks in order to complete research projects in a practical amount of time without distracting researchers from their day-to-day work. "Scientific workflow" is the term most commonly used to describe this style of work. 

(1 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
SW-01 Basic composite application execution


Scientific Data

Today's research increasingly relies on generating, collecting, organizing, and analyzing large amounts of data. Researchers often find themselves needing to work with more data than personal or laboratory computers are equipped to handle, and in some cases, the same scales used by large corporations and government agencies. XSEDE helps researchers meet these challenges both by providing access to resources that are specialized to work with data, and by providing services that make data analysis, data management, and data sharing possible for small teams.

Data Analysis:

These use cases describe how scientists analyze large amounts of scientific data using XSEDE resources and services. The data is typically large in volume (larger than one would use on a personal or business computer), but is organized and stored in different ways for different kinds of research. Data might be generated by a single source (a large simulation, for example) or it might come from many sources (observational results from many different instruments or different research teams). The methods of analysis also vary from field to field and problem to problem.

(5 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
DA-01 Data analytics resources and information
DA-02 Data preparation
DA-03 Instrument data analysis
DA-04 HPC simulation data analysis
DA-05 In situ computational steering


Data Management:

These use cases describe how researchers manage collections of data for shared use or for their own re-use over time. The use cases range from a single research project managing and organizing its own data, to several related projects using each other's data, or to data being prepared for future use in applications that haven't been imagined yet.

(11 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
DM-01 Share a common repository of data with a distributed user community
DM-02 Data Management for Distributed Simulation and Analysis
DM-03 Shared use of large-scale/streaming sensor input data
DM-04 Migration of data associated with change of primary computational site
DM-05 Manually create metadata for a data object
DM-06 Run a researcher-supplied tool to generate metadata for data objects
DM-07 Automatically extract metadata from data objects
DM-08 Store metadata for later use
DM-09 Search metadata for specific objects of interest
DM-10 Add metadata search features to an application
DM-11 Post-allocation data access on XSEDE SP resources



These are the most common scientific data visualization methods among people using XSEDE resources. This is an evolving field of work, since the ability of desktop computers to visualize data is improving rapidly. Nevertheless, it is still not unusual for researchers to need to visualize data at scales that exceed their local resources, requiring them to use XSEDE resources to advance their work.

(6 use cases)
Use Case ID Title Use Case Description CDP Start Date End Date
VIS-01 Remote, Interactive Visualization (1)
VIS-02 Remote, Interactive Visualization (2)
VIS-03 Remote, Batch Visualization
VIS-04 Computational Steering
VIS-05 In Situ Visualization
VIS-06 Visualization Gateways