We are pleased to announce the first release (code name “Bohr”) of the Einstein Toolkit, an open, community developed software infrastructure for relativistic astrophysics. The Einstein Toolkit is a collection of over 130 software components and tools for simulating and analyzing general relativistic astrophysical systems that builds on numerous software efforts in the numerical relativity community including CactusEinstein, the Whisky hydrodynamics code, and the Carpet AMR infrastructure. The Cactus Framework is used as the underlying computational infrastructure providing large-scale parallelization, general computational components, and a model for collaborative, portable code development. The toolkit includes modules to build complete codes for simulating black hole spacetimes as well as systems governed by relativistic hydrodynamics. Current development in the consortium is targeted at providing additional infrastructure for general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics.
The Einstein Toolkit uses a distributed software model and its different modules are developed, distributed, and supported either by the core team of Einstein Toolkit Maintainers, or by individual groups. Where modules are provided by external groups, the Einstein Toolkit Maintainers provide quality control for modules for inclusion in the toolkit and help coordinate support. The Einstein Toolkit Maintainers currently involve postdocs and faculty from five different institutions, and hold weekly meetings that are open for anyone to join in.
Guiding principles for the design and implementation of the toolkit include:
1: Open, community-driven software development that encourages the sharing of code across the community, prevents code duplication, and leads to sustainable support and development of essential code.
2: Well thought out and stable interfaces between components that enable multiple implementations of physics capabilities, and allow groups or individuals to concentrate on their areas of interest.
3: Separation of physics software from computational science infrastructure so that new technologies for large scale computing, processor accelerators, or parallel I/O can be easily integrated with science codes.
4: The provision of complete working production codes to provide: prototypes, standard benchmarks, and testcases; codes that are available for and usable by the general astrophysics community; tools for new researchers and groups to enter this field; training and education for a new generation of researchers.
For more information about using or contributing to the Einstein Toolkit, or to join the Einstein Toolkit Consortium, please visit our web pages at <http://einsteintoolkit.org>.
We thank the numerous people who contributed to this software over the past many years; there are too many to be listed here. We also gratefully acknowledge those who helped in the past months to make this release happen. The Einstein Toolkit is primarily supported by NSF 0903973/0903782/0904015 (CIGR), and also by NSF 0701566/0855892 (XiRel), 0721915 (Alpaca), 0725070 (Blue Waters), and 0905046/0941653 (PetaCactus).
The “Bohr” Release Team on behalf of the Einstein Toolkit Consortium