What’s New in HPC Research: August 2018

By Oliver Peckham

August 27, 2018

In this new bimonthly feature, HPCwire will highlight newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Check back on the second and fourth Mondays of each month for more!

Exploring the nature and patterns of fatal events in IBM Blue Gene/Q Mira

With supercomputers costing many millions of dollars and scaling to thousands of nodes, reliability is a first-class concern. In this paper, researchers from Argonne National Laboratory “explore potential correlations of fatal system events for one of the most powerful supercomputers – IBM Blue Gene/Q Mira, which is deployed at Argonne National Laboratory, based on its 5-year reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) log.” They “summarize six important ‘takeaways’ which can help system vendors and administrators better understand an extreme-scale system’s fatal events” and believe that their work will be useful to “large-scale HPC system administrators and vendors and to fault tolerance researchers, enabling them to better understand fatal events and mitigate such events accordingly[.]”

Authors: Sheng Di, Hanqi Guo, and Rinku Gupta

Evaluating the TensorFlow programming model for solving HPC problems

TensorFlow is the super-star framework of the AI world, but what about using TensorFlow for HPC? This paper, written by a team of researchers from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, “attempts to evaluate the usability and expressiveness of the TensorFlow programming model for traditional HPC problems.” The researchers “prototyped a distributed block matrix multiplication for large dense matrices which cannot be co-located on a single device and a Conjugate Gradient (CG) solver” and “[evaluated] the difficulty of expressing traditional HPC algorithms using computational graphs and study the scalability of distributed TensorFlow on accelerated systems.” They found that “TensorFlow is extremely scalable.”

Authors: Steven Wei Der Chien, Stefano Markidis, Ivy Bo Peng, and Erwin Laure

Investigating the potential for FPGAs to feature in future exascale platforms

With FPGAs gaining momentum, a group of researchers from the University of Cambridge set out to “investigate the potential for [FPGAs] to feature in future exascale platforms, and their capacity to improve performance per unit power measurements for the purposes of scientific computing.” They “[focused their] efforts on Variational Monte Carlo, and report on the benefits of co-processing with an FPGA relative to a purely multicore system.” They “established that [their] implementation offers significant benefits in terms of raw compute performance and reduced power consumption.”

Authors: Salvatore Cardamone, Jonathan R. Kimmitt, Hugh G. A. Burton, and Alex J. W. Thom

Bringing reconfigurable hardware to future high-performance applications

As computer architecture trends toward heterogeneous platforms, programming these machines poses unique difficulties. This paper, written by Alessandro Cilardo of the University of Naples, “describes the main outcomes of the HtComp project, a two-year research programme aimed at exploring methodologies and tools allowing the automated generation of FPGA-based accelerators from high-level applications written in traditional software languages.” Specifically, the researchers focus on “the main contributions brought by the project, covering the generation of hardware systems from high-level parallel code, the performance-oriented optimisation of memory architectures tailored on the application access patterns, as well as the automated definition of application-driven special-purpose on-chip interconnects.” They conclude that “the above innovations contributed to creating a viable path allowing generic software developers to access tomorrow’s hardware-accelerated high-performance platforms with minimum development overheads.”

Author: Alessandro Cilardo

Analyzing neural network states for the classical simulation of quantum computing

The simulation of quantum algorithms can impose exponential resource requirements.  In an attempt to improve on efficiency for simulating certain circuit structures, the authors of this paper “introduce a classical approach to the simulation of general quantum circuits based on neural-network quantum states (NQS) representations.” They “derive rules for exactly applying single-qubit and two-qubit Z rotations to NQS” and “provide a learning scheme to approximate the action of Hadamard gates.” They conclude that “[the] overall accuracy obtained by the neural-network states based on Restricted Boltzmann machines is satisfactory, and offers a classical route to simulating highly-entangled circuits[.]”

Authors: Bjarni Jónsson, Bela Bauer, and Giuseppe Carleo

Using physics-informed machine learning for DRAM error modeling

With high-performance computing facilities accelerating into the exascale era, addressing hardware failures is increasingly important. These researchers — a team from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and AMD — “investigate the predictability of DRAM errors using field data from two recently decommissioned supercomputers: Cielo, at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Hopper, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.” They “apply statistical machine learning to predict the probability of DRAM errors at previously un-accessed locations” and “compare the predictive performance of six machine learning algorithms,” finding that “a model incorporating physical knowledge of DRAM spatial structure outperforms purely statistical methods.”

Authors: Elisabeth Baseman, Nathan DeBardeleben, Sean Blanchard, Juston Moore, Olena Tkachenko, Kurt Ferreira, Taniya Siddiqua, and Vilas Sridharan

Establishing hybrid entanglement of three quantum memories with three photons

In this paper, researchers from the Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences, the University of Science and Technology of China, and the CAS-Alibaba Quantum Computing Laboratory “report an experiment realizing hybrid entanglement between three photons and three atomic-ensemble quantum memories.” They “make use of three similar setups, in each of which one pair of photon-memory entanglement with high overall efficiency is created via cavity enhancement.” They believe that this work “demonstrates the largest size of hybrid memory-photon entanglement, which may be employed as a build block to construct larger and complex quantum network.”

Author: Bo Jing, Xu-Jie Wang, Yong Yu, Peng-Fei Sun, Yan Jiang, Sheng-Jun Yang, Wen-Hao Jiang, Xi-Yu Luo, Jun Zhang, Xiao Jiang, Xiao-Hui Bao, and Jian-Wei Pan

Improving efficiency and resilience in HPC through analytics and data-driven management

As more and more facets of our day-to-day lives rely on large-scaling computing systems, efficiently managing those systems is crucial. In this paper, a researcher from Boston University proposes “novel methodologies to automatically diagnose the root causes of performance and configuration problems and to improve efficiency through data-driven system management.” The author shows that “by training machine learning models on resource usage and performance data collected from servers, [the] approach successfully diagnoses 98% of the injected anomalies at runtime in real-world HPC clusters with negligible computational overhead.”

Integrating low-latency analysis into HPC system monitoring

While system monitoring data is increasingly available from HPC systems, analysis of that data is often too slow to be meaningfully actionable. These researchers — from UCF, Sandia National Laboratories, and Open Grid Computing — “enhance the architecture of a monitoring system used on large-scale computational platforms, to integrate streaming analysis capabilities at arbitrary locations within its data collection, transport, and aggregation facilities.” They “leverage the flexible communication topology of the monitoring system to enable placement of transformations based on overhead concerns, while still enabling low-latency exposure on node.” Finally, they “show the viability of our implementation for a case with production-relevance: run-time determination of the relative per-node files system demands.”

Authors: Ramin Izadpanah, Nichamon Naksinehaboon, Jim Brandt, Ann Gentile, and Damian Dechev

Scaling HPC benchmarking and looking beyond the average

Creating an efficient, balanced high-performance system requires an understanding of major bottlenecks. In this paper, researchers from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya “execute seven production HPC applications on a production HPC platform, and analyse the key performance bottlenecks: FLOPS performance and memory bandwidth congestion, and the implications on scaling out.” They find that “results depend significantly on the number of execution processes and granularity of measurements” and “advocate for guidance in the application suites, on selecting the representative scale of the experiments,” proposing that “the FLOPS performance and memory bandwidth should be represented in terms of the proportions of time with low, moderate and severe utilization[.]”

Authors: Milan Radulovic, Kazi Asifuzzaman, Paul Carpenter, Petar Radojković, and Eduard Ayguadé


Do you know about research that should be included in next month’s list? If so, send us an email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.

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!

What’s New in HPC Research: Wind Farms, Gravitational Lenses, Web Portals & More

February 19, 2019

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Insights from Optimized Codes on Cineca’s Marconi

February 15, 2019

What can you do with 381,392 CPU cores? For Cineca, it means enabling computational scientists to expand a large part of the world’s body of knowledge from the nanoscale to the astronomic, from calculating quantum effe Read more…

By Ken Strandberg

What Will IBM’s AI Debater Learn from Its Loss?

February 14, 2019

The utility of IBM’s latest man-versus-machine gambit is debatable. At the very least its Project Debater got us thinking about the potential uses of artificial intelligence as a way of helping humans sift through al Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Systems With Intel Omni-Path: Architected for Value and Accessible High-Performance Computing

Today’s high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) users value high performing clusters. And the higher the performance that their system can deliver, the better. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Medical Research Powered by Data

“We’re all the same, but we’re unique as well. In that uniqueness lies all of the answers….”

  • Mark Tykocinski, MD, Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University

Getting the answers to what causes some people to develop diseases and not others is driving the groundbreaking medical research being conducted by the Computational Medicine Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Read more…

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. According to Dutch news site Drimb Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Insights from Optimized Codes on Cineca’s Marconi

February 15, 2019

What can you do with 381,392 CPU cores? For Cineca, it means enabling computational scientists to expand a large part of the world’s body of knowledge from th Read more…

By Ken Strandberg

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

UC Berkeley Paper Heralds Rise of Serverless Computing in the Cloud – Do You Agree?

February 13, 2019

Almost exactly ten years to the day from publishing of their widely-read, seminal paper on cloud computing, UC Berkeley researchers have issued another ambitious examination of cloud computing - Cloud Programming Simplified: A Berkeley View on Serverless Computing. The new work heralds the rise of ‘serverless computing’ as the next dominant phase of cloud computing. Read more…

By John Russell

Iowa ‘Grows Its Own’ to Fill the HPC Workforce Pipeline

February 13, 2019

The global workforce that supports advanced computing, scientific software and high-speed research networks is relatively small when you stop to consider the magnitude of the transformative discoveries it empowers. Technical conferences provide a forum where specialists convene to learn about the latest innovations and schedule face-time with colleagues from other institutions. Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

Trump Signs Executive Order Launching U.S. AI Initiative

February 11, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) today launching a U.S Artificial Intelligence Initiative. The new initiative - Maintaining American L Read more…

By John Russell

Celebrating Women in Science: Meet Four Women Leading the Way in HPC

February 11, 2019

One only needs to look around at virtually any CS/tech conference to realize that women are underrepresented, and that holds true of HPC. SC hosts over 13,000 H Read more…

By AJ Lauer

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

Assessing Government Shutdown’s Impact on HPC

February 6, 2019

After a 35-day federal government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, government agencies are taking stock of the damage -- and girding for a potential secon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Unveils Shasta, Lands NERSC-9 Contract

October 30, 2018

Cray revealed today the details of its next-gen supercomputing architecture, Shasta, selected to be the next flagship system at NERSC. We've known of the code-name "Shasta" since the Argonne slice of the CORAL project was announced in 2015 and although the details of that plan have changed considerably, Cray didn't slow down its timeline for Shasta. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

AMD Sets Up for Epyc Epoch

November 16, 2018

It’s been a good two weeks, AMD’s Gary Silcott and Andy Parma told me on the last day of SC18 in Dallas at the restaurant where we met to discuss their show news and recent successes. Heck, it’s been a good year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

US Leads Supercomputing with #1, #2 Systems & Petascale Arm

November 12, 2018

The 31st Supercomputing Conference (SC) - commemorating 30 years since the first Supercomputing in 1988 - kicked off in Dallas yesterday, taking over the Kay Ba Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Quantum Update: Q System One Launch, New Collaborators, and QC Center Plans

January 10, 2019

IBM made three significant quantum computing announcements at CES this week. One was introduction of IBM Q System One; it’s really the integration of IBM’s Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Reflections and (Mostly Hopeful) Predictions

December 19, 2018

So much ‘spaghetti’ gets tossed on walls by the technology community (vendors and researchers) to see what sticks that it is often difficult to peer through Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia’s Jensen Huang Delivers Vision for the New HPC

November 14, 2018

For nearly two hours on Monday at SC18, Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, presented his expansive view of the future of HPC (and computing in general) as only he can do. Animated. Backstopped by a stream of data charts, product photos, and even a beautiful image of supernovae... Read more…

By John Russell

The Deep500 – Researchers Tackle an HPC Benchmark for Deep Learning

January 7, 2019

How do you know if an HPC system, particularly a larger-scale system, is well-suited for deep learning workloads? Today, that’s not an easy question to answer Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Confirms 48-Core Cascade Lake-AP for 2019

November 4, 2018

As part of the run-up to SC18, taking place in Dallas next week (Nov. 11-16), Intel is doling out info on its next-gen Cascade Lake family of Xeon processors, specifically the “Advanced Processor” version (Cascade Lake-AP), architected for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and infrastructure-as-a-service workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This