ISC19 Cluster Competition: Application Results, Finally!

By Dan Olds

July 15, 2019

Our exhaustive coverage of the ISC19 Student Cluster Competition continues as we discuss the application scores below. While the scores were typically high, some of the apps, like SWIFT and OpenFOAM, really pushed the students to the edge, judging by the average and median scores.

Here are the final results for the HPC application portion of the competition:

CP2K:  This is a quantum chemistry and solid state physics application that can perform atomistic simulations of solids, liquid, molecular, periodic, material, crystal, and biological systems. You want to use Gaussian or plane wave approaches? Go for it. CP2K is like a Swiss Army knife of figuring out the physics behind materials and stuff.

Taiwan’s NTHU nailed the top score, with Tsinghua only four points behind. Sun Yat-Sen took third with a score of 92.11%. National Cheng Kung University from Taiwan came out of no where to take the fourth place slot with Warsaw right behind them to take fifth – great job!

 

 

 

SWIFT:  You wake up one morning and realize that you’d like to do some modeling on how gravity and hydrodynamics affect materials. A good example is if you want to see what happens when you drop a cow from a helicopter into a lake. What do you do? You get SWIFT.

While our students weren’t modeling a cow & helicopter scenario, they did have to run SWIFT on their clusters and run SWIFT they did.

NTHU topped the field with their 100% normalized score, showing that they were the swiftest to solution on this app. CHPC was eating NTHU’s dust with their score of 81.49% and Tsinghua was even farther behind with their 72.18% mark. However, this was a difficult application for all of the teams, as shown by the low 22.72% median score.

 

 

Mystery Application:  The Mystery Application for the ISC19 Student Cluster Competition was the PENNANT application from Los Alamos National Lab. It’s an app that helps find more efficient implementations of unstructured mesh physics on different architectures (like GPUs, for example).

CHPC took the flag on PENNANT (I hate puns, but will stoop to them when I can’t think of anything else) narrowly finishing ahead of Heidelberg, who was less than four points behind. However, Heidelberg barely held off Sun Yat-Sen, who was only two points behind. ETH Zurich and Tsinghua put forth the effort, but the PENNANT gods did not smile upon them. Most of the other teams had a reasonably good time with PENNANT, judging by the median score of 75.62% and average score of nearly 66%.

 

 

OpenFOAM is a free open source computational fluid dynamics package that does about anything you’d want to do. Need to work with incompressible flows? Incomprehensible flows? Compressible flows? Or even analyze foam? OpenFOAM is your answer. Same thing for conjugate heat transfers and combustion problems. Hell, it even has Direct Simulation Monte Carlo solvers. What more could you ask for?

Our student teams felt that OpenFOAM was a pretty difficult piece of code to optimize. There are a lot of levers, toggles, and knobs in the software. The plucky South African team from CHPC set a blistering pace with their 100% normalized score on OpenFOAM, but the kids from Team Tsinghua weren’t fare behind at 97.49%. EPCC Edinburgh gets into the top three with a 90% score, while the pride of Switzerland, ETH Zurich, and China’s Sun Yat-Sen crossed the line with nearly identical scores.

 

 

AI Application:  The AI application this year deals with extremes in weather and has students using TensorFlow and Horovod to train models that are highly accurate when inferencing through the provided datasets.

ETH Zurich’s AI model produced the highest accuracy and earned them 100% on this exercise. Taiwan’s National Chung Keng University grabbed a surprise second place finish with their economical dual-workstation cluster, showing they can beat the big clusterers when it comes to an application that doesn’t demand a lot of raw power.

Nanyang Tech took home third place, sandwiched in between NCKU in second and EPCC Edinburgh in fourth. Sun Yat-Sen nailed down a honorable mention, finishing just behind the leaders.

 

 

Interview:  The final scored portion of the competition is the interview. This is where HPC experts visit each team and ask piercing questions like “what make you decide on this particular configuration?” and “how did you optimize _____ application?” or “what was your speed up on _______ as compared to your original run?” Teams are really put on the spot as they try to answer a wide variety of questions that cover every part of their competition preparation, execution, and results. The Student Cluster Competition Interview is sort of an art form. Students don’t know what’s going to be asked of them and they don’t know the interview style of individual judges, so they have to be prepared for anything. On top of all this, there can also be language barriers that hinder clear communication.

New team ETH Zurich barely managed to edge out Tsinghua for the top interview score. This is quite a feat, as Tsinghua is typically very strong on their interviews, offering up all sorts of relevant data to the judges. The team from Spain, UPC, did their usual good job with the judges, explaining in detail their system choices and how they took on the apps.

EPCC Edinburgh and CHPC also turned in well above average interview scores.

 

Our coverage continues with our next article which will show the day-by-day drama in the competition and reveal the winner and top finishers. Finally, for the first time ever, we’re going to show the results of our own score analysis which, we believe, will show the teams that exceled in turning and optimization apart from their hardware configurations.

To check out how the teams stand in all-time competitions, be sure to take a gander at the Student Cluster Competition Leadership List.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

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

Intel’s Silicon Brain System a Blueprint for Future AI Computing Architectures

April 24, 2024

Intel is releasing a whole arsenal of AI chips and systems hoping something will stick in the market. Its latest entry is a neuromorphic system called Hala Point. The system includes Intel's research chip called Loihi 2, Read more…

Anders Dam Jensen on HPC Sovereignty, Sustainability, and JU Progress

April 23, 2024

The recent 2024 EuroHPC Summit meeting took place in Antwerp, with attendance substantially up since 2023 to 750 participants. HPCwire asked Intersect360 Research senior analyst Steve Conway, who closely tracks HPC, AI, Read more…

AI Saves the Planet this Earth Day

April 22, 2024

Earth Day was originally conceived as a day of reflection. Our planet’s life-sustaining properties are unlike any other celestial body that we’ve observed, and this day of contemplation is meant to provide all of us Read more…

Intel Announces Hala Point – World’s Largest Neuromorphic System for Sustainable AI

April 22, 2024

As we find ourselves on the brink of a technological revolution, the need for efficient and sustainable computing solutions has never been more critical.  A computer system that can mimic the way humans process and s Read more…

Empowering High-Performance Computing for Artificial Intelligence

April 19, 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) presents some of the most challenging demands in information technology, especially concerning computing power and data movement. As a result of these challenges, high-performance computing Read more…

Kathy Yelick on Post-Exascale Challenges

April 18, 2024

With the exascale era underway, the HPC community is already turning its attention to zettascale computing, the next of the 1,000-fold performance leaps that have occurred about once a decade. With this in mind, the ISC Read more…

Intel’s Silicon Brain System a Blueprint for Future AI Computing Architectures

April 24, 2024

Intel is releasing a whole arsenal of AI chips and systems hoping something will stick in the market. Its latest entry is a neuromorphic system called Hala Poin Read more…

Anders Dam Jensen on HPC Sovereignty, Sustainability, and JU Progress

April 23, 2024

The recent 2024 EuroHPC Summit meeting took place in Antwerp, with attendance substantially up since 2023 to 750 participants. HPCwire asked Intersect360 Resear Read more…

AI Saves the Planet this Earth Day

April 22, 2024

Earth Day was originally conceived as a day of reflection. Our planet’s life-sustaining properties are unlike any other celestial body that we’ve observed, Read more…

Kathy Yelick on Post-Exascale Challenges

April 18, 2024

With the exascale era underway, the HPC community is already turning its attention to zettascale computing, the next of the 1,000-fold performance leaps that ha Read more…

Software Specialist Horizon Quantum to Build First-of-a-Kind Hardware Testbed

April 18, 2024

Horizon Quantum Computing, a Singapore-based quantum software start-up, announced today it would build its own testbed of quantum computers, starting with use o Read more…

MLCommons Launches New AI Safety Benchmark Initiative

April 16, 2024

MLCommons, organizer of the popular MLPerf benchmarking exercises (training and inference), is starting a new effort to benchmark AI Safety, one of the most pre Read more…

Exciting Updates From Stanford HAI’s Seventh Annual AI Index Report

April 15, 2024

As the AI revolution marches on, it is vital to continually reassess how this technology is reshaping our world. To that end, researchers at Stanford’s Instit Read more…

Intel’s Vision Advantage: Chips Are Available Off-the-Shelf

April 11, 2024

The chip market is facing a crisis: chip development is now concentrated in the hands of the few. A confluence of events this week reminded us how few chips Read more…

Nvidia H100: Are 550,000 GPUs Enough for This Year?

August 17, 2023

The GPU Squeeze continues to place a premium on Nvidia H100 GPUs. In a recent Financial Times article, Nvidia reports that it expects to ship 550,000 of its lat Read more…

Synopsys Eats Ansys: Does HPC Get Indigestion?

February 8, 2024

Recently, it was announced that Synopsys is buying HPC tool developer Ansys. Started in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1970 as Swanson Analysis Systems, Inc. (SASI) by John Swanson (and eventually renamed), Ansys serves the CAE (Computer Aided Engineering)/multiphysics engineering simulation market. Read more…

Intel’s Server and PC Chip Development Will Blur After 2025

January 15, 2024

Intel's dealing with much more than chip rivals breathing down its neck; it is simultaneously integrating a bevy of new technologies such as chiplets, artificia Read more…

Choosing the Right GPU for LLM Inference and Training

December 11, 2023

Accelerating the training and inference processes of deep learning models is crucial for unleashing their true potential and NVIDIA GPUs have emerged as a game- Read more…

Comparing NVIDIA A100 and NVIDIA L40S: Which GPU is Ideal for AI and Graphics-Intensive Workloads?

October 30, 2023

With long lead times for the NVIDIA H100 and A100 GPUs, many organizations are looking at the new NVIDIA L40S GPU, which it’s a new GPU optimized for AI and g Read more…

Baidu Exits Quantum, Closely Following Alibaba’s Earlier Move

January 5, 2024

Reuters reported this week that Baidu, China’s giant e-commerce and services provider, is exiting the quantum computing development arena. Reuters reported � Read more…

Shutterstock 1179408610

Google Addresses the Mysteries of Its Hypercomputer 

December 28, 2023

When Google launched its Hypercomputer earlier this month (December 2023), the first reaction was, "Say what?" It turns out that the Hypercomputer is Google's t Read more…

AMD MI3000A

How AMD May Get Across the CUDA Moat

October 5, 2023

When discussing GenAI, the term "GPU" almost always enters the conversation and the topic often moves toward performance and access. Interestingly, the word "GPU" is assumed to mean "Nvidia" products. (As an aside, the popular Nvidia hardware used in GenAI are not technically... Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Shutterstock 1606064203

Meta’s Zuckerberg Puts Its AI Future in the Hands of 600,000 GPUs

January 25, 2024

In under two minutes, Meta's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, laid out the company's AI plans, which included a plan to build an artificial intelligence system with the eq Read more…

China Is All In on a RISC-V Future

January 8, 2024

The state of RISC-V in China was discussed in a recent report released by the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The report, entitled "E Read more…

Shutterstock 1285747942

AMD’s Horsepower-packed MI300X GPU Beats Nvidia’s Upcoming H200

December 7, 2023

AMD and Nvidia are locked in an AI performance battle – much like the gaming GPU performance clash the companies have waged for decades. AMD has claimed it Read more…

Nvidia’s New Blackwell GPU Can Train AI Models with Trillions of Parameters

March 18, 2024

Nvidia's latest and fastest GPU, codenamed Blackwell, is here and will underpin the company's AI plans this year. The chip offers performance improvements from Read more…

Eyes on the Quantum Prize – D-Wave Says its Time is Now

January 30, 2024

Early quantum computing pioneer D-Wave again asserted – that at least for D-Wave – the commercial quantum era has begun. Speaking at its first in-person Ana Read more…

GenAI Having Major Impact on Data Culture, Survey Says

February 21, 2024

While 2023 was the year of GenAI, the adoption rates for GenAI did not match expectations. Most organizations are continuing to invest in GenAI but are yet to Read more…

The GenAI Datacenter Squeeze Is Here

February 1, 2024

The immediate effect of the GenAI GPU Squeeze was to reduce availability, either direct purchase or cloud access, increase cost, and push demand through the roof. A secondary issue has been developing over the last several years. Even though your organization secured several racks... Read more…

Intel’s Xeon General Manager Talks about Server Chips 

January 2, 2024

Intel is talking data-center growth and is done digging graves for its dead enterprise products, including GPUs, storage, and networking products, which fell to Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire