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Glossary

To help clarify the way we refer to certain terms in our user documentation, here is a brief list of some of the words that regularly come up in our documents. Please reach out to us at hpc@yale.edu if there are any other words that need to be added.

Account - used to authenticate and grant permission to access resources

Account (Slurm) - an accounting mechanism to keep track of a group's computing usage

Activate - making something operational

Array - a data structure across a series of memory locations consisting of elements organized in an index

Array (job) - a series of jobs that all request the same resources and run the same batch script

Array Task ID - a unique sequential number with an appended number that refers to an individual task within the set of submitted jobs

Channel - Community-led collections of packages created by a group or lab installed with conda to allow for a homogenous environment across systems

CLI - Command Line Interface processes commands to a computer program in the form of lines of text in a window

Cluster - a set of computers networked together so nodes can perform the same task facilitated by a scheduling software

Command - a specific order from a computer to execute a service with either an application or the operating system

Compute Node - the nodes that work runs on to perform computational work

Container - A stack of software, libraries and a Linux operating system that is independent of the host computer and can be accessed on other computers

Container Image - Self-contained read-only files used to run applications

CPU - Central Processing Units are the components of a system that perform basic operations and exchange data with the system’s memory (also known as a processor)

Data - items of information collected together for reference or analysis

Database - a collection of structured data held within a computer

Deactivate - making something de-operational

Environment - a collection of hardware, software, data storage and networks that work together in facilitating the processing and exchange of information

Extension - Suffix at the end of a filename to indicate the file type

Filesystem - a process that manages how and where data is stored

Flag - (see Options)

GPU - Graphics Processing Units are specialized circuits designed to rapidly manipulate memory and create images in a frame buffer for a displayed output

GridFTP - an extension of the Fire Transfer Protocol for grid computing that allows users to transfer and save data on a different account such as Google Drive or other off network memory

Group - a collection of users who can all be given the same permissions on a system

GUI - Graphical User Interface allows users to interact with devices and applications through a visual window that can commonly display icons and predetermined fields

Hardware - the physical parts of a computer

Host - (ie. Host Computer) A device connected to a computer network that offers resources, services and applications to users on the network

Image - (See Container Image)

Index - a method of sorting data by creating keywords or a listing of data

Interface - a boundary across which two or more computer system components can exchange information

Job - a unit of work given to an operating system by a scheduler

Job Array - a way to submit multiple similar jobs by associating each subjob with an index value based on an array task id

Key - a variable value applied using an algorithm to a block of unencrypted text to produce encrypted text

Load - transfer a program or data into memory or into the CPU

Login Node - a node that users log in on to access the cluster

Memory - a device or system that is used to store information for immediate use

Metadata - A set of data that describes and gives basic information about other data

Module - a number of distinct but interrelated units that build up or into a program

MPI - Message Passing Interface is a standardized and portable message-passing standard designed to function on parallel computing architectures

Multiprocessing - the ability to operate more than one task simultaneously on the same program across two or more processors in a computer

Node - a device on a large network

Option - a single letter or full word that modifies the behavior of a command in a predetermined way (also known as a flag or switch)

Package - a collection of hardware and software needed to create a working system

Parallel - (ex. Computing/Programming) Architecture in which several processes are carried out simultaneously across smaller, independent parts

Partition - a section of a storage device that is given a designated purpose and specific parameters to allow for various memory consuming tasks to take place

Path - A string of characters used to identify locations throughout a directory structure

Pane - (Associate with window) A subdivision within a window where an independent terminal can run simultaneously alongside another terminal

Processor - (see CPU)

Queue - a sequence of objects arranged according to priority waiting to be processed

RAM - Random Access Memory can be read and changed in any order and is typically used to to store working data

Reproducibility - the ability to execute the same results across multiple systems by different individuals using the same data

Scheduler - the software used to assign resources to a job for tasks

Scheduling - the act of assigning resources to a task through a software product

Session - a temporary information exchange between two or more devices

SSH - secure shell is a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network

Software - a collection of data and instructions that tell a computer how to operate

Switch - (see Options)

System - a set of integrated hardware and software that input, output, process, and store data and information

Task ID - a unique sequential number used to refer to a task

Terminal - Referring to a terminal program, a text-based interface for typing commands

Toolchain - a set of tools performing individual actions used in delivering an operation

Unload - remove a program or data from memory or out of the CPU

User - a person interacting and utilizing a computing service

Variable - assigned and referenced data values that can be called within a program and changed depending on how the program runs

Window - (Associate with pane) the whole screen being displayed, containing subdivisions, or panes, that can run independent terminals alongside each other


Last update: May 27, 2022