DoE’s ASCAC Backs AI for Science Program that Emulates the Exascale Initiative

By John Russell

September 28, 2020

Roughly a year after beginning formal efforts to explore an AI for Science initiative the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee last week accepted a subcommittee report calling for a ten-year AI plan that loosely emulates the Exascale Computing Initiative. The sub-committee report was delivered by Tony Hey of the subcommittee at ASCAC’s two-day virtual meeting held last Thursday and Friday.

“The subcommittee believes that this ten-year AI for Science initiative should be funded at the same scale as the successful Exascale Computing Initiative (ECI) and Exascale Computing Project (ECP),” contends the report and even included a graphic presenting how such a program might be structured that looks much like the ECI/ECP program.

The report recommends this AI for Science initiative be structured around four major AI R&D themes:

  • AI-enabled applications
  • AI algorithms and foundational research
  • AI software infrastructure
  • New hardware technologies for AI

and makes six major recommendations:

  • Creation of a 10-year AI for Science Initiative
  • Structure of an SC AI for Science Initiative
  • An Instrument to Edge Initiative
  • Training, focusing, and retention of AI/ML workforce
  • Inter-Agency collaboration
  • International collaboration

“In addition, the subcommittee stresses the importance for all six of the Office of Science programs to work together on the issue of hardware-software-algorithm co-design and data analysis at their major user facilities. Finally, the subcommittee supports the recommendation of the ECP Transition report [10] that stresses the importance of ASCR’s long-term Applied Mathematics and Computer Science research programs,” concludes the report.

An interesting feature of the new world of virtual meetings such as the ASCAC meeting, which was on Zoom, is there are often comments in the chat window accompanying presentations. Hey, a longtime HPCer currently with affiliations at University of Washington and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory,  noted any AI for Science program would necessarily be multi-disciplinary and wide-ranging in terms of product.

Online meeting participants (~150-plus) picked up on this with various chat area comments suggesting the timelines and goalposts for an AI could be less clear and perhaps more variable. The ECI/ECP program has very specific goals and delivery dates for exascale systems and an associated software ecosystem. The goals are less clear-cut for AI.  Nevertheless, prospects for an AI for Science effort are enticing with opportunites for advances in basic sciences and in critical tools. One example of the latter is AI’s potential in managing data (data reduction and transport) at the sites of big instruments where massive amounts of raw data are produced and must then be transported to distant sites for analysis. The report called this out out in its instruments-to-the-edge recommendation.

The full report, along with other presentations made at the meeting, are available at the ASCAC website. The rush to develop and adopt AI technologies, of course, has been palpable including enthusiasm from the Trump Administration and the U.S. Congress. A national AI Initiative is part of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) whose details are now being hammered out by Senate and Congress leaders. The house version had called for $1.157 billion for the act. In August, the U.S. Administration announced $1 billion to establish NSF-led AI institutes and DoE-led Quantum Information Sciences Institutes, and just this week announced a U.S.-U.K. cooperation agreement on AI research and development.

To some extent, it’s becoming difficult to sort through the complementary and competing government proposals, but AI (and quantum) are clearly hot and seen as potential transformational. Efforts to infuse AI technology into traditional HPC and adapt it for use in science have been steamrolling for some time.

As the latest report notes, “From July to October in 2019, the Argonne, Oak Ridge, and Berkeley National Laboratories hosted a series of four AI for Science Town Hall meetings in Chicago, Oak Ridge, Berkeley, and Washington DC. The four meetings were attended by over 1300 scientists from the 17 DOE Labs, 39 companies, and over 90 universities. The goal of the Town Hall series was ‘to examine scientific opportunities in the areas of artificial intelligence, Big Data, and high-performance computing (HPC) in the next decade, and to capture the big ideas, grand challenges, and next steps to realizing these.’ The discussions at the meetings were captured in the final report of the AI for Science Town Hall meetings.” HPCwire covered the initial report release in March.

Although the AI for Science report has now been accepted by ASCAC, turning its suggestions into a full-fledged program is likely to be a long slog emphasized Barbara Helland, associate director of ASCAC.

Helland presented some budget request numbers noting the House marked-up version of NDAA includes more than the DoE request. Although a reconciliation with a Senate bill had been expected around Labor Day, most observers now say a vote on NDAA won’t occur until after the election. (Helland’s slides below, click to enlarge.)

Helland also reviewed the exascale program status – there was little new information although she broadly confirmed the Aurora system being delivered by Intel was delayed. No details were provided beyond comments that Intel, ANL, and DoE were discussing solutions.

With so much material presented during the meeting, it’s best to review the agenda and drill into presentations of interest.

Link to ASCAC meeting agenda, https://science.osti.gov/-/media/ascr/ascac/pdf/meetings/202009/ASCAC_Agenda_202009.pdf?la=en&hash=A19D1D12F4B9AA99390AE1703819A1F73FA233E1

Link to ASCAC meeting presentation slides, https://science.osti.gov/ascr/ascac/Meetings/202009

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!

University of Chicago Researchers Generate First Computational Model of Entire SARS-CoV-2 Virus

January 15, 2021

Over the course of the last year, many detailed computational models of SARS-CoV-2 have been produced with the help of supercomputers, but those models have largely focused on critical elements of the virus, such as its Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Pat Gelsinger Returns to Intel as CEO

January 14, 2021

The Intel board of directors has appointed a new CEO. Intel alum Pat Gelsinger is leaving his post as CEO of VMware to rejoin the company that he parted ways with 11 years ago. Gelsinger will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15. Gelsinger previously spent 30 years... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Roar Supercomputer to Support Naval Aircraft Research

January 14, 2021

One might not think “aircraft” when picturing the U.S. Navy, but the military branch actually has thousands of aircraft currently in service – and now, supercomputing will help future naval aircraft operate faster, Read more…

By Staff report

DOE and NOAA Extend Computing Partnership, Plan for New Supercomputer

January 14, 2021

The National Climate-Computing Research Center (NCRC), hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has been supporting the climate research of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the last 1 Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using Micro-Combs, Researchers Demonstrate World’s Fastest Optical Neuromorphic Processor for AI

January 13, 2021

Neuromorphic computing, which uses chips that mimic the behavior of the human brain using virtual “neurons,” is growing in popularity thanks to high-profile efforts from Intel and others. Now, a team of researchers l Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Now Available – Amazon EC2 C6gn Instances with 100 Gbps Networking

Amazon EC2 C6gn instances powered by AWS Graviton2 processors are now available!

Compared to C6g instances, this new instance type provides 4x higher network bandwidth, 4x higher packet processing performance, and 2x higher EBS bandwidth. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Intel Keynote Address

Intel is the foundation of HPC – from the workstation to the cloud to the backbone of the Top500. At SC20, Intel’s Trish Damkroger, VP and GM of high performance computing, addresses the audience to show how Intel and its partners are building the future of HPC today, through hardware and software technologies that accelerate the broad deployment of advanced HPC systems. Read more…

Honing In on AI, US Launches National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office

January 13, 2021

To drive American leadership in the field of AI into the future, the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office has been launched by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The new agen Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

Pat Gelsinger Returns to Intel as CEO

January 14, 2021

The Intel board of directors has appointed a new CEO. Intel alum Pat Gelsinger is leaving his post as CEO of VMware to rejoin the company that he parted ways with 11 years ago. Gelsinger will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15. Gelsinger previously spent 30 years... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

Intel ‘Ice Lake’ Server Chips in Production, Set for Volume Ramp This Quarter

January 12, 2021

Intel Corp. used this week’s virtual CES 2021 event to reassert its dominance of the datacenter with the formal roll out of its next-generation server chip, the 10nm Xeon Scalable processor that targets AI and HPC workloads. The third-generation “Ice Lake” family... Read more…

By George Leopold

Researchers Say It Won’t Be Possible to Control Superintelligent AI

January 11, 2021

Worries about out-of-control AI aren’t new. Many prominent figures have suggested caution when unleashing AI. One quote that keeps cropping up is (roughly) th Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Files Patent on New GPU Chiplet Approach

January 5, 2021

Advanced Micro Devices is accelerating the GPU chiplet race with the release of a U.S. patent application for a device that incorporates high-bandwidth intercon Read more…

By George Leopold

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

By Tracey Bryant

Intel Touts Optane Performance, Teases Next-gen “Crow Pass”

January 5, 2021

Competition to leverage new memory and storage hardware with new or improved software to create better storage/memory schemes has steadily gathered steam during Read more…

By John Russell

Farewell 2020: Bleak, Yes. But a Lot of Good Happened Too

December 30, 2020

Here on the cusp of the new year, the catchphrase ‘2020 hindsight’ has a distinctly different feel. Good riddance, yes. But also proof of science’s power Read more…

By John Russell

Esperanto Unveils ML Chip with Nearly 1,100 RISC-V Cores

December 8, 2020

At the RISC-V Summit today, Art Swift, CEO of Esperanto Technologies, announced a new, RISC-V based chip aimed at machine learning and containing nearly 1,100 low-power cores based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. Esperanto Technologies, headquartered in... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Azure Scaled to Record 86,400 Cores for Molecular Dynamics

November 20, 2020

A new record for HPC scaling on the public cloud has been achieved on Microsoft Azure. Led by Dr. Jer-Ming Chia, the cloud provider partnered with the Beckman I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

NICS Unleashes ‘Kraken’ Supercomputer

April 4, 2008

A Cray XT4 supercomputer, dubbed Kraken, is scheduled to come online in mid-summer at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS). The soon-to-be petascale system, and the resulting NICS organization, are the result of an NSF Track II award of $65 million to the University of Tennessee and its partners to provide next-generation supercomputing for the nation's science community. Read more…

Is the Nvidia A100 GPU Performance Worth a Hardware Upgrade?

October 16, 2020

Over the last decade, accelerators have seen an increasing rate of adoption in high-performance computing (HPC) platforms, and in the June 2020 Top500 list, eig Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt, Ahmad Abdelfattah and Jack Dongarra

Aurora’s Troubles Move Frontier into Pole Exascale Position

October 1, 2020

Intel’s 7nm node delay has raised questions about the status of the Aurora supercomputer that was scheduled to be stood up at Argonne National Laboratory next year. Aurora was in the running to be the United States’ first exascale supercomputer although it was on a contemporaneous timeline with... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Hires Longtime Intel Exec Bill Magro to Lead HPC Strategy

September 18, 2020

In a sign of the times, another prominent HPCer has made a move to a hyperscaler. Longtime Intel executive Bill Magro joined Google as chief technologist for hi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

By Tracey Bryant

Top500: Fugaku Keeps Crown, Nvidia’s Selene Climbs to #5

November 16, 2020

With the publication of the 56th Top500 list today from SC20's virtual proceedings, Japan's Fugaku supercomputer – now fully deployed – notches another win, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

European Commission Declares €8 Billion Investment in Supercomputing

September 18, 2020

Just under two years ago, the European Commission formalized the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU): a concerted HPC effort (comprising 32 participating states at c Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Texas A&M Announces Flagship ‘Grace’ Supercomputer

November 9, 2020

Texas A&M University has announced its next flagship system: Grace. The new supercomputer, named for legendary programming pioneer Grace Hopper, is replacing the Ada system (itself named for mathematician Ada Lovelace) as the primary workhorse for Texas A&M’s High Performance Research Computing (HPRC). Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

At Oak Ridge, ‘End of Life’ Sometimes Isn’t

October 31, 2020

Sometimes, the old dog actually does go live on a farm. HPC systems are often cursed with short lifespans, as they are continually supplanted by the latest and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia and EuroHPC Team for Four Supercomputers, Including Massive ‘Leonardo’ System

October 15, 2020

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) serves as Europe’s concerted supercomputing play, currently comprising 32 member states and billions of euros in funding. I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to Massive SARS-CoV-2 Simulations

November 19, 2020

2020 has proven a harrowing year – but it has produced remarkable heroes. To that end, this year, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) introduced the Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia-Arm Deal a Boon for RISC-V?

October 26, 2020

The $40 billion blockbuster acquisition deal that will bring chipmaker Arm into the Nvidia corporate family could provide a boost for the competing RISC-V architecture. As regulators in the U.S., China and the European Union begin scrutinizing the impact of the blockbuster deal on semiconductor industry competition and innovation, the deal has at the very least... Read more…

By George Leopold

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