The Week in HPC Research

By Tiffany Trader

January 24, 2013

As the name implies, this new feature highlights the top research stories of the week, hand-selected from prominent science journals and leading conference proceedings. This week brings us a wide-range of topics from stopping the spread of pandemics, to the latest trends in programming and chip design, and tools for enhancing the quality of simulation models.

Heading Off Pandemics

Virgina Tech researchers Keith R. Bisset, Stephen Eubank, and Madhav V. Marathe presented a paper at the 2012 Winter Simulation Conference that explores how high performance informatics can enhance pandemic preparedness.

The authors explain that pandemics, such as the recent H1N1 influenza, occur on a global scale and affect large swathes of the population. They are closely aligned with human behavior and social contact networks. The ordinary behavior and daily activities of individuals operating in modern society (with its large urban centers and reliance on international travel) provides the perfect environment for rapid disease propagation. Change the behavior, however, and you change the progression of a disease outbreak. This maxim is at the heart of public health policies aimed at mitigating the spread of infectious disease.

Armed with this knowledge, experts can develop effective planning and response strategies to keep pandemics in check. According to the authors, “recent quantitative changes in high performance computing and networking have created new opportunities for collecting, integrating, analyzing and accessing information related to such large social contact networks and epidemic outbreaks.” The Virginia Tech researchers have leveraged these advances to create the Cyber Infrastructure for EPIdemics (CIEPI), an HPC-oriented decision-support environment that helps communities plan for and respond to epidemics.

Next >> Help for the “Average Technologist”

Help for the “Average Technologist”

Another paper in the Proceedings of the Winter Simulation Conference addresses methods for boosting the democratization of modeling and simulation. According to Senior Technical Education Evangelist at The MathWorks Justyna Zander (who also affiliated with Gdansk University of Technology in Poland) and Senior Research Scientist at The MathWorks Pieter J. Mosterman (who is also an adjunct professor at McGill University), the list of practical applications associated with computational science and engineering is expanding. It’s common for people to use search engines, social media, and aspects of engineering to enhance their quality of life.

The researchers are proposing an online modeling and simulation (M&S) platform to assist the “average technologist” with making predictions and extrapolations. In the spirit of “open innovation,” the project will leverage crowd-sourcing and social-network-based processes. They expect the tool to support a wide range of fields, for example behavioral model analysis, big data extraction, and human computation.

In the words of the authors: “The platform aims at connecting users, developers, researchers, passionate citizens, and scientists in a professional network and opens the door to collaborative and multidisciplinary innovations.”

Next >> OpenStream and OpenMP

OpenStream and OpenMP

OpenMP is an API that provides shared-memory parallel programmers with a method for developing parallel applications on a range of platforms. A recent paper in the journal ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization (TACO) explores a streaming data-flow extension to the OpenMP 3.0 programming language. In this well-structured 26-page paper, OpenStream: Expressiveness and data-flow compilation of OpenMP streaming programs, researchers Antoniu Pop and Albert Cohen of INRIA and École Normale Supérieure (Paris, France) present an in-depth evaluation of their hypothesis.

Inria OpenStream research diagramThe work addresses the need for productivity-oriented programming models that exploit multicore architectures. The INRIA researchers argue the strength of parallel programming languages based on the data-flow model of computation. More specifically, they examine the stream programming model for OpenMP and introduce OpenStream, a data-flow extension of OpenMP that expresses dynamic dependent tasks. As the INRIA researchers explain, “the language supports nested task creation, modular composition, variable and unbounded sets of producers/consumers, and first-class streams.”

“We demonstrate the performance advantages of a data-flow execution model compared to more restricted task and barrier models. We also demonstrate the efficiency of our compilation and runtime algorithms for the support of complex dependence patterns arising from StarSs benchmarks,” notes the abstract.

Next >> The Superconductor Promise

The Superconductor Promise

There’s no denying that the pace of Moore’s Law scaling has slowed as transistor sizes approach the atomic level. Last week, DARPA and a semiconductor research coalition unveiled the $194 million STARnet program to address the physical limitations of chip design. In light of this recent news, this research out of the Nagoya University is especially relevant.

Quantum engineering specialist Akira Fukimaki has authored a paper on the advancement of superconductor digital electronics that highlights the role of the Rapid Single Flux Quantum (RSFQ) logic circuit. Next-generation chip design will need to minimize power demands and gate delay and this is the promise of RSFQ circuits, according to Fukimaki.

“Ultra short pulse of a voltage generated across a Josephson junction and release from charging/discharging process for signal transmission in RSFQ circuits enable us to reduce power consumption and gate delay,” he writes.

Fukimaki argues that RSFQ integrated circuits (ICs) have advantages over semiconductor ICs and energy-efficient single flux quantum circuits have been proposed that could yield additional benefits. And thanks to advances in the fabrication process, RSFQ ICs have a proven role in mixed signal and IT applications, including datacenters and supercomputers.

Next >> Working Smarter, Not Harder

Working Smarter, Not Harder

Is this a rule to live by or an overused maxim? A little of both maybe, but it’s also the title of a recent journal paper from researchers Susan M. Sanchez of the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, Calif., and Hong Wan of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

“Work smarter, not harder: a tutorial on designing and conducting simulation experiments,” published in the WSC ’12 proceedings, delves into one of the scientist’s most important tasks, creating simulation models. Such models not only greatly enhance scientific understanding, they have implications that extend to national defense, industry and manufacturing, and even inform public policy.

Creating an accurate model is complex work, involving thousands of factors. While realistic, well-founded models are based on high-dimensional design experiments, many large-scale simulation models are constructed in ad hoc ways, the authors claim. They argue that what’s needed is a solid foundation in experimental design. Their tutorial includes basic design concepts and best practices for conducting simulation experiments. Their goal is to help other researchers transform their simulation study into a simulation experiment.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Dell EMC will Build OzStar – Swinburne’s New Supercomputer to Study Gravity

August 16, 2017

Dell EMC announced yesterday it is building a new supercomputer – the OzStar – for the Swinburne University of Technology (Australia) in support the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) Read more…

By John Russell

Microsoft Bolsters Azure With Cloud HPC Deal

August 15, 2017

Microsoft has acquired cloud computing software vendor Cycle Computing in a move designed to bring orchestration tools along with high-end computing access capabilities to the cloud. Terms of the acquisition were not Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Ships Supercomputer to Space Station, Final Destination Mars

August 14, 2017

With a manned mission to Mars on the horizon, the demand for space-based supercomputing is at hand. Today HPE and NASA sent the first off-the-shelf HPC system into space aboard the SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft to explore if Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Leveraging Deep Learning for Fraud Detection

Advancements in computing technologies and the expanding use of e-commerce platforms have dramatically increased the risk of fraud for financial services companies and their customers. Read more…

AMD EPYC Video Takes Aim at Intel’s Broadwell

August 14, 2017

Let the benchmarking begin. Last week, AMD posted a YouTube video in which one of its EPYC-based systems outperformed a ‘comparable’ Intel Broadwell-based system on the STREAM benchmark and on a test case running ANS Read more…

By John Russell

Microsoft Bolsters Azure With Cloud HPC Deal

August 15, 2017

Microsoft has acquired cloud computing software vendor Cycle Computing in a move designed to bring orchestration tools along with high-end computing access capa Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Ships Supercomputer to Space Station, Final Destination Mars

August 14, 2017

With a manned mission to Mars on the horizon, the demand for space-based supercomputing is at hand. Today HPE and NASA sent the first off-the-shelf HPC system i Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD EPYC Video Takes Aim at Intel’s Broadwell

August 14, 2017

Let the benchmarking begin. Last week, AMD posted a YouTube video in which one of its EPYC-based systems outperformed a ‘comparable’ Intel Broadwell-based s Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Thrives in Cancer Moonshot

August 8, 2017

The U.S. War on Cancer, certainly a worthy cause, is a collection of programs stretching back more than 40 years and abiding under many banners. The latest is t Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Raises the Bar for Distributed Deep Learning

August 8, 2017

IBM is announcing today an enhancement to its PowerAI software platform aimed at facilitating the practical scaling of AI models on today’s fastest GPUs. Scal Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Storage Breakthrough Paves Way for 330TB Tape Cartridges

August 3, 2017

IBM announced yesterday a new record for magnetic tape storage that it says will keep tape storage density on a Moore's law-like path far into the next decade. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Stuffs a Petaflops of Machine Intelligence into 20-Node Rack

August 1, 2017

With its Radeon “Vega” Instinct datacenter GPUs and EPYC “Naples” server chips entering the market this summer, AMD has positioned itself for a two-head Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate's ClusterStor HPC storage array business for an undisclosed sum. "In short we're effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray," said CEO Peter Ungaro. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo Read more…

By John Russell

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Six Exascale PathForward Vendors Selected; DoE Providing $258M

June 15, 2017

The much-anticipated PathForward awards for hardware R&D in support of the Exascale Computing Project were announced today with six vendors selected – AMD Read more…

By John Russell

Top500 Results: Latest List Trends and What’s in Store

June 19, 2017

Greetings from Frankfurt and the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference where the latest Top500 list has just been revealed. Although there were no major Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Clears Path to 5nm with Silicon Nanosheets

June 5, 2017

Two years since announcing the industry’s first 7nm node test chip, IBM and its research alliance partners GlobalFoundries and Samsung have developed a proces Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Messina Update: The US Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This