Minutes of Geant4 Steering Board Meeting of 8 April 2008

8 April 2008, 08:30-13:00 CET

CERN: J.Apostolakis, G.Cosmo, V.Ivanchenko, G.Folger, H.Kurashige
SLAC: M.Asai, D.Wright, J.Perl;
KEK: K.Amako, K.Murakami,
LLNR: M.Verderi
INFN LNS: G.Cuttone (second part)
FNAL: S.Banerjee (second part)
TRIUMF: P.Gumplinger (second part)
IN2P3 Annecy: M.Maire (second part)
IN2P3 Bordeaux: S.Incerti (second part)
State Univ. Rio de Janeiro: M.Begalli (second part, broken connection)
Excuses: M.G. Pia, T. Sasaki

Editor(s): V.Ivanchenko, J.Apostolakis
Last revision: 23rd May, 2008, 14:40 CEST

I. First Part

1. Approval of results of elections of representatives for SB

The results of elections of representatives for SB of all Geant4 working groups were approved, except of the Low-energy EM working group. The concerns were expressed to not well defined list of participants of the group and for the value of the FTE contribution to the working group efforts. SB internal database, Geant4 web and Low-energy web lists are very different.

Action (J.Apostolakis, M. Asai): communicate with people who departed or were left out of the low-energy EM WG to verify if they wish to continue contribute in this area of the toolkit (including development, maintenance, verification, validation, support).

II. Second Part

New elected SB members were invited and joined the second part of the meeting.

2. Collaboration workshop 2008

H.Kurashige presented the venue and key time plans for the 2008 Geant4 Workshop in Kobe, 6-11 October. The web page is now public, and registration will be opened April 14th. The largest room, seating 80+, will be available in the morning and is planned for use in plenary sessions (except Wednesday and Saturday). Two other rooms with capacity up to 40 persons each will be available for parallel sessions. It was agreed that the workshop will be divided in two parts: in first two and a half days will be a Geant4 Users workshop, and the last three last days will be Geant4 Collaboration (internal) Meeting sessions. Wednesday afternoon will be reserved for an excursion ahead of the Workshop Dinner.

The Program Committee was proposed and agreed: G.Cuttone, P.Gumplinger, A.Ribon, S.Takashi, and local members H.Kurashige, H.Yoshida.

Action (Program Committee): prepare an outline of the agenda, for circulation to the SB by April 29th.

3. Process of elections of the next spokesperson

The Candidate Nomination Team (CNT) of P.Gumplinger, T.Sasaki, M.Verderi reported that it had chosen M. Verderi as chair.

The SB agreed to proceed with the next steps, with the following schedule as proposed by the CNT:

  • 8-24 April: determine the list of persons who can vote, correcting the Geant4 membership list for departures and new members, and identifying members who have the right to vote (including students with contribution periods of more than one year);
  • 28 April-16 May: the nomination phase
  • 16 May-23 May: list of nominated candidates will be given to SB
  • 23 May-13 June: SB endorsement of the list of candidates
  • 13 June final list and clarified procedure of elections

The schedule has been approved. Nomination of a person can be done by any member of the Collaboration by e-mail to the nomination committee, which should be accomplished by a support letter.

Action (J. Apostolakis, M. Asai): By April 24th, identify Geant4 contributors who have left the collaboration or stopped contributing for an extended period (proposed >6 months) and revise the list of collaboration members accordingly. Identify contributors who have not fulfilled the requirements that enable them to participate:


  • a student member can vote after being a Geant4 member and contributing for more than a year
  • other members must have made a non-trivial contribution (development, test, maintenance including identifying and correcting reported problems, support, verification, validation, example.)

4. Work plan for 2008

Issues affecting the 2008 work plan:

The feedback from the last Technical Forum meeting was noted (It concerned a request for improved physics lists documentation on strengths, applicability of each PL) . Working group representatives reported modifications in the working plan. The modifications in working group plans connected with the reduction of manpower at SLAC, and a departure and move at CERN:

  • some items of the Hadronic working group plan should be postponed the next year;
  • the manpower for maintenance of precision neutron (HP) models is limited;
  • the manpower and expertise for maintenance of CHIPS is uncertain;
  • the manpower for maintenance and improvement of the QGS and Binary Cascade models is minimal (due to move of effort to testing for 2008);
  • the development of physics process-based biasing ( General Processes and Materials working group) cannot be carried out in 2008 because main developer departed;
  • the development of visualization of field lines cannot be carried out in 2008 because main developer departed.

A request to the OB for the resources to cover Geant4 maintenance and some developments should be formulated.

5. Releases and support of G4 releases in 2008

A first list was created of developments being prepared in first half of 2008, in order to determine whether a new release is warranted in June

  1. Notable new developments included:
  • new low-energy neutron library for elastic scattering;
  • new processes of hadron induced bremsstrahlung and e+e- pair production;
  • new capability for interpolating physics quantities (eg cross-sections) from table values using spline functions ;
  • corrective update of masses of electron, proton and neutron introduced by requested new version of CLHEP
  • GDML writer module.

Taking into account significant new developments it is decided to have a beta (preview) release in June. Reasons for not undertaking regular minor release: STT testing infrastructure is not expected to migrate fully and testing procedure will require great effort by new responsible(s). Patches will not be provided for this beta release - corrections will be provided in December regular release.

It was pointed out by G.Folger that new STT software requires no compilation warnings and no exceptions to be accepted as “SUCCESS”. Working group coordinators need to fix the issues that lead to warning messages, just as they correct errors.

6. Regular Issues

Approval minutes for previous SB meeting

The minutes of the SB meeting of Feb 5, 2008 were approved

7. Geant4 Delta Review 2008

The date of the review is tentatively scheduled for end of January 2009.

8. AOB

Lost contribution to Low-energy EM

Action: John Apostolakis and Makoto Asai , and undertake to identify past Geant4 contributors to Low-energy Electromagnetics who wish to restart contributing (including development, maintenance, verification, validation, support). Collect names and their expected contributions (level, topic).

Action (J.Apostolakis, M.Asai, consulting with Petteri Nieminen) : If warranted, based on the outcome of the previous action, establish a new process to elect the coordinator and other representatives.

Interface to FORTRAN codes reported by J.Apostolakis

Currently an interface G3TOG4 does exist inside Geant4. There are stable FORTRAN hadronic generators (INCL/ABLA, DPMJET, FITS, others), for which interfaces exist in some applications, examples. Some are available on by private communication or via less-well-known web pages. To evaluate benefits and risks of wider distribution of interface to external packages, and to document the status of technical issues related to FORTRAN interfacing and compiler support, a task force is created (J.Apostolakis, M.Asai, G.Cosmo, V.Ivanchenko, J.Perl).

Support of Windows platform reported by J.Perl

Windows is today the most complicated platform to install and to build Geant4. The main problems are the frequent changes in Cygwin, the variety and changes of Visual C++, and the dependence of an installation/build patterns between different flavors of Windows operation system. Currently J.Perl and G.Cosmo provide support on best efforts basis. It is highly desirable to seek experts in wider-community, with Windows knowledge, willing to contribute to supporting Windows installation - and to propose for them to join Geant4 with such contribution.

The meeting adjourned at 12:30.

Meeting Date

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 - 12:00