Minutes of the Geant4 Collaboration Board Meeting - March 1, 2002

DRAFT (RM, March 31, 2002)

Minutes of the Geant4 Collaboration Board Meeting

CERN, March 1, 2002

08:30 – 10:00


John Apostolakis (CERN, Geant4 Spokesperson), Makoto Asai (SLAC, Deputy Spokesperson), Pavel Binko (HARP), Eamon Daly (ESA), Manuel Delfino(CERN), Vladimir Grichine (LPI), John Harvey (LHCb), Michael Losty (TRIUMF), Norman McCubbin (ATLAS), Richard Mount (SLAC, Chair), Martti Pimia(CMS), Terry Schalk (BaBar, by phone), David Stickland (CMS), Henri Videau (IN2P3),Yoshiyuki Watase, Hans-Peter Wellisch

New Representatives

David Stickland (CMS replacing Martti Pimia) and Mike Losty (TRIUMF replacing Gordon Greeniaus) were welcomed to the committee. In response to some questions that had arisen in the weeks before the meeting, RM pointed out that member organizations did not have to seek approval of the CB when nominating or changing their representative. However, they were strongly encouraged to choose different CB and TSB representatives.

June 2001 Review Report:

The review committee was sincerely thanked for the report that had now been received.

RM proposed that the review should be made public immediately after the CB meeting. He also proposed that an outline of issues already addressed or soon to be addressed by the collaboration be published very soon. There should be no attempt to “correct” the review report.

After suggestions from several CB members, it was agreed that:

  1. The review report should be made public immediately
  2. The CB should prepare a short vision statement and make it public as soon as possible
  3. The TSB should prepare, as soon as possible, an account of work in progress or completed that was relevant to points raised in the review. After approval by the CB, this should be made public.

The CB also agreed that regular reviews would strengthen Geant4, but were, of course, no substitute for a management strategy.


The CB discussed RM’s proposal for an HEP Requirements Advisory Committee with a full-time chair. If this committee (and parallel committees for the non-HEP uses of Geant4) were created, the TSB’s role as representing the contributors to Geant4 would become clearer.

It was agreed to change “Requirements Advisory” to “User Requirements” and that the HEPURC chair should be an ex-officio member of the CB.

The HEPURC would help the TSB by understanding and prioritizing what was needed. The TSB would retain its authority to decide what would be done.

ED anticipated a growth of space applications outside ESA, so that the early establishment of a SURC might be appropriate.

Many changes were made to the text of the proposal to improve its clarity. It was agreed that a new draft would be circulated incorporating these improvements.

Minutes of the Joint CB-TSB Meeting

CERN, March 1, 2002

10:30 – 16:00


CB members as above plus Jürgen Knobloch, Maria Grazia Pia, Michel Maire, Florence Ranjard, Hans Hoffman (CERN, 14:00 onwards). NNNNNNN (by video conference ** please leel me who was there ***) Discussion of Review Report

RM stressed the need to make the review report public and apologized for inadequately sensitizing the collaboration to what the CB expected from a review. He stressed that a review committee did not manage the collaboration.

A range of views was expressed on how the collaboration should respond to the review, with several TSB members feeling that the collaboration should “correct” any errors in the report.

After further discussion the CB recommendations were accepted:

  1. The review report should be made public immediately
  2. The CB should prepare a short vision statement and make it public as soon as possible
  3. The TSB should prepare, as soon as possible, an account of work in progress or completed that was relevant to points raised in the review. After approval by the CB, this should be made public.

Next Review(s)

RM proposed a “delta” review in the second half of the year and a new detailed review by end of 2003. This proposal was accepted.

A number of points arose in the discussion and received general support:

The delta review should be short (2.5 days including report writing) and focus on progress in the areas of concern identified in the review. This would be the opportunity to correct any impressions made in the June 2001 review. The Geant4 collaboration reports to nobody. Regular reviews providing input to the CB would strengthen the collaboration and its perceived legitimacy. It was highly desirable that all presentations to a review committee be open. The collaboration should tell a review committee where it believed a review should focus, but no other attempt should be made to restrict the topics addressed by a committee.

Discussion of the Proposal for HEPURC

RM described the current state of the draft proposal for the committee.

There was general support for an HEPURC working in the way described by RM, but significant concern that it might be difficult to ensure a constructive and collegial relationship between the committee and the TSB. RM stressed that the TSB would continue to manage the program of work of the Geant4 collaboration.

CERN Management Concerns

Hans Hoffmann stressed that Geant4 would be vital for the LHC experiments. It would be important that Geant4 be able to respond to the LHC needs while continuing to serve increasingly diverse applications. The LHC user and accelerator communities needed both Geant4 and FLUKA and ways to make life easier for users should be considered.

TSB Report on past and planned activities

JA presented the report (** URL *****)

Points arising from the discussion were:

HH stressed the importance of a full-time chairperson for the HEPURC Of the LHC experiments, ATLAS had made the most progress in Geant4 comparison projects. As a result, changes in the kernel code of G4 for EM physics were introduced and new models (transition radiation) were developed. CMS was well behind ATLAS and planned to take full advantage of the progress made by ATLAS.

Licensing issues

RM described the current status:

  • The GPL model was proposed in the past, motivated by the wish to protect authors of the code. However, it has the disadvantage of impeding usage of the code in any commercial activities; lawyers in the US Department of Energy do not like it.

  • In the context of the GRID projects, BSD type of license is envisioned.

  • The BSD model affirms copyright, but allows any usage of the software with no restrictions.

  • Another possibility is to choose a legal entity (e.g. CERN) that will take care of any license issue.

  • Personal view: the situation of G4 is so complex that trying to make money out of it would just be painful. We have to agree to a license for intellectual propriety and a proposal for this must be advanced as soon as possible. If any institute were prepared to step forward and provide the necessary effort to become the legal entity in charge of G4 licensing, then this approach could be considered. Since this appears not to be the case, this idea may have to be abandoned.

MA pointed out that a company in US already advanced a proposal to NASA to sell a product based on G4 for interfacing to CAD systems.

ED said that ESA preferred a LGPL-style license, but that, in spite of many internal studies, ESA also did not have a clear position on licensing.

In discussions involving HH and MD and RM it became apparent that CERN does not have clear position with respect to G4 licensing. RM said that he would attempt to get CERN-DOE agreement on a BSD or LGPL-style license in an attempt to catalyze a G4-wide agreement.

Issues to be considered in a new MOU

RM said that the collaboration has evolved since the original MOU was written. The creation of the HEPURC and its analogs was an example of how the new environment, where users would greatly outnumber developers, required a re-thinking of the MOU. A working group would be put in place to draft a new MOU.

Several experiment representatives pointed out that the current way in which experiments were present in the CB and TSB was illogical. If experiments had other effective ways to communicate with the collaboration, these CB and TSB memberships might not be needed.

There was broad agreement that the CB should represent entities that can put resources into G4 and that the TSB should represent those doing the work. It was desirable that CB and TSB members be different people.

The desirability of a common fund for G4 was stressed by HPW and endorsed by MD.

ED pointed out that the words “Memorandum of Understanding” had a strict (and very formal) interpretation within ESA. A name “Collaboration Agreement” would allow ESA to sign it.

Minutes of the Geant4 Collaboration Board Meeting

CERN, March 1, 2002

16:30 – 18:00


(As in 0830 – 10:00 session minus Terry Schalk)

Membership Application from the Czech Technical University

This application proposed work on medical applications of G4 at a level of less than one CU. The application for membership was welcomed and approved, while noting that the relationship of this work to G4 might be considered analogous to that of HEP experiments and might thus be re-thought in drafting the new MOU.

Plan for MOU Revision

R. Mount, Yoshiyuki Watase and Eamon Daly agreed to work on a draft new MOU. (** did we volunteer a fourth person? **). The draft should be part of the material presented to the delta review in September.

Next Meetings

Face-to-face meetings should be held at CERN in June and September (in conjunction with the delta review). Telephone meetings should be held between face-to-face meetings to ensure progress on the documents being drafted by the CB and the TSB.

At the June meeting, an examination of the issues concerning G4 and FLUKA should be on the agenda.

End of Meeting

Geant4 Collaboration Board


March 1, 2002

08:30 to 18:00 (max)

Morning  40-5-A01

Afternoon   40-SS-A01


08:30 – 10:00  CB Meeting


08:30 – 09:15  Discussion of Review Report

09:15 – 10:30  Discussion of proposal for an HEP

               Requirements Advisory Committee


10:00 – 10:30  Break


10:30 – 16:00  Joint CB/TSB Meeting


10:30 – 11:45  Discussion of Review Report

               Timing of next review(s)

11:45 – 12:30  Discussion of proposal for an HEP

               Requirements Advisory Committee

12:30 – 14:00  Lunch

14:00 – 15:00  TSB Report on past and planned activities

15:00 – 15:30  Licensing issues

15:30 – 16:00  Issues to be considered in a new MOU – TSB input.


16:00 – 16:30  Break


16:30 – 18:00  CB Meeting


16:30 – 16:20  Membership application from Czech Technical University

16:20 – 17:30  Plan for MOU revision

17:30 – 17:45  Date(s) of next meeting(s)

17:45 – 18:00  AOB