Design Overview

As detailed in [Kennedy2017], LIVVkit is intended to be a comprehensive V&V toolkit for regular and automated testing – that is, testing models as they develop. It is designed to be used by model developers/users to build their confidence in the model. Additionally, it is expected that the testing output will be viewed and examined by a wider audience in order to enhance the credibility of the model.

Therefore, LIVVkit strives to meet these core usage requirements:

LIVVkit should be easy to start using with no new technical skills needed (for a typical ice sheet modeler/developer).
LIVVkit should work where the models are developed; from laptops to HPCs.
LIVVkit should accommodate multiple use cases and integrate into developers’ workflow patterns.
LIVVkit should be able to accommodate new models, tests, and methods of analysis easily to keep pace with future developments.
LIVVkit should be able to perform the desired sets of analyses with minimal overhead and time to results.

Similarly, LIVVkit strives to meet these core output requirements:

The analysis results should be described in a quantified manner, using appropriate metrics that indicate the degree of certainty, and provide the necessary context to make the figures, metrics and other results understandable.
The results should be easy to share, publish, and examine using common tools.

If you find LIVVkit isn’t working for you, meeting these requirements, or have other suggestions for improvement, please let us know by opening an issue on github.


Schematic of LIVVkit's architecture and program flow.

Schematic of LIVVkit’s architecture and program flow [Kennedy2017]. The light blue computers indicate where the user will interact with LIVVkit, first using the livv interface and then finally viewing the web output. The green boxes indicate core LIVVkit functionality, the black boxes are the different analyses which are executed in parallel, and the blue and purple boxes represent the ice-sheet model description bundles and any extensions analyses that may have been requested, respectively. Programmatically, the livv interface is used to schedule a series of analyses; the scheduler then pulls the requested analysis codes from the required bundles, components, and extensions; and executes the analyses. As each analysis finishes, some high-level summary information will be displayed on the command line through the interface and fully detailed information will be collated into the output website. Once all analyses are finished, the interface will inform the user and the results of all the analyses can be viewed on the output website.


The major components of LIVVkit are:

The LIVVkit command-line interface where users will primarily interact with LIVVkit, and request the desired V&V analyses.
The scheduler will then launch all of the V&V analyses in parallel and will collate the output when done.
A package containing the numerics, verification, performance, and validation components, which control the different types of verification and validation analyses (see the Introduction to V&V).
A package containing any model specific code bundles, which are used to completely encapsulate a particular ice sheet model’s unique behavior. At its core, a bundle is simply a set of configuration files and Python modules. The configuration files describe paths, variable names, and the types of analysis available to LIVVkit, and the Python modules provide the methods to handle ice sheet model specific behavior (e.g., parsing input/log files and reshaping data sets).

All the functionality that falls outside the V&V paradigm is contained in:

  • livvkit.util: utility classes and functions for dealing with general LIVVkit data manipulations, JSON element skeletons for output data, general I/O, etc.
  • livvkit.resources: HTML, CSS, Javascript, and image resources for generating the output website.
  • static data used by different built in V&V analyses, and allows users to link in directories containing data for custom extensions.

See API and/or Module Index for a detailed list and description of LIVVkit’s components.