ALCF Summer Students Gain Real-World Experience in Scientific HPC

October 24, 2017

Oct. 24, 2017 — Every summer, the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility, opens its doors to a new class of student researchers who work alongside staff mentors to tackle research projects that address issues at the forefront of scientific computing.

From exploring big data analysis tools to developing new high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities, many of this year’s interns had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

“We want our interns to have a rewarding experience, but also to leave with a better understanding of what a National Laboratory is, and what it does for the country,” said ALCF Director Michael Papka. “If we can help them to connect their classroom training to practical, real-world R&D challenges, then we have succeeded.”

This year, the ALCF hosted 39 students ranging from college freshmen to Ph.D. candidates. The students presented their project results to the ALCF community at a series of special symposiums before heading back to their respective universities. Here’s a brief overview of four of the student projects.

Power monitoring for HPC applications

Ivana Marincic, a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of Chicago, used the ALCF’s Cray XC40 supercomputer Theta to develop a new library that monitors and controls power consumption in large-scale applications.

While tools already exist for basic power profiling, none of them are equipped for profiling applications running on multiple nodes—and ALCF computing resources can have upwards of hundreds of thousands of nodes. Traditional libraries also typically require a certain degree of expertise in the use of such tools, as well as knowledge of a particular system’s power consumption characteristics.

“The HPC community is becoming increasingly aware that the power consumption of their applications matters,” Marincic said. “My tool is designed to enable HPC users of all backgrounds to profile their applications with a few simple lines of code while also providing more options to advanced users.”

Marincic’s library, called PoLiMEr, for Power Limiting and Monitoring of Energy, exploits the power monitoring and capping capabilities on Cray/Intel systems and provides users with detailed insights into their application’s power consumption.

The library also enables users to control the power consumption of their application at runtime via power limiting. Using PoLiMEr, Marincic was able to apply a stringent power cap to memory-intensive applications, thereby saving overall power consumption without any performance losses. She will present a paper on her findings at the Energy Efficient Supercomputing (E2SC) Workshop at SC17, the International Conference for High-Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis.

For Marincic, collaboration with her ALCF mentor, computer scientist Venkat Vishwanath and members of ALCF’s Operations and Science teams, proved critical to a successful research project.

“Without this environment that fosters collaboration, inquisitiveness and helping others, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I did in these three months,” Marincic said.

Automated email text analysis

ALCF’s technical support team handles thousands of emails every year from users seeking assistance with computing resources, user accounts, and other issues related to their ALCF projects.

To help staff gain insights from this vast amount of email, Patrick Cunningham, a junior studying computer science at Purdue University, spent his summer developing a system that can rapidly analyze email text for keywords and phrases.

Cunningham began his project by researching relevant journal articles and investigating various machine learning and natural language processing tools and techniques. He then used Python, the Natural Language Toolkit, and the Stanford Named Entity Recognizer to build a system that is capable of email processing, tagging, keyword identification, and scoring.

“This system lays the foundation for more advanced text analysis tools and projects,” he said. “For example, it could be possible to use the system to link relevant emails together to help identify solutions to support ticket questions more quickly.”

During the course of his three-month project, Cunningham used the system to process more than 130,000 emails from the support ticket database to extract all possible words, phrases, and concepts. The data generated by his system will feed into software that allows staff to find support emails that are the most relevant to their search phrases.

“The idea behind this project was to come up with a tool that can respond to commands like ‘give me a list of all emails that mention FFTW library in the past 90 days,’” said Doug Waldron, ALCF senior data architect and Cunningham’s summer mentor. “Later this year, we plan to have software in place so that we can take advantage of the system Patrick developed.”

Developing a scalable framework using FPGAs

With the potential to provide higher performance than today’s HPC processors (CPUs and GPUs) using less power, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are a promising technology for future supercomputers. But FPGAs have yet to gain much traction in HPC because they are notoriously difficult to program.

“FPGAs represent a paradigm shift in mainstream high-performance computing that addresses three of the most important challenges on the roadmap to exascale computing: resource utilization, power consumption and communication,” said Ahmed Sanaullah, a Ph.D. student at Boston University. “The icing on the cake is that FPGAs are commercial off-the-shelf devices. Anyone can create their own clusters using FPGAs, and they scale much better than GPUs.”

Sanaullah partnered with a summer intern working in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) Division, Chen Yang, also a student at Boston University, to develop a robust and scalable FPGA framework for accelerating HPC applications.

Over the course of the summer, Sanaullah and Yang created an FPGA chip, called TRIP (TeraOps/s Reconfigurable Inference Processor). The team evaluated TRIP’s performance using the massive datasets generated from the deep neural network code CANDLE (CANcer Distributed Learning Environment), now being developed at Argonne as part of DOE’s Exascale Computing Project, a collaborative effort of the DOE Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

“This experience gave me a lot of insight into HPC workloads and deep neural networks,” Sanaullah said. “Moving forward, I hope to incorporate this into my future projects, including my dissertation, so that my work can contribute to HPC architectures and applications in a significant and meaningful way.”

Sanaullah and Yang will present the results of this work this November at SC17. Their project was a collaborative effort between Argonne and Boston University’s Computer Architecture and Automated Design Lab. Sanaullah was mentored by ALCF computational scientist Yuri Alexeev. Chang was mentored by Kazutomu Yoshii, an MCS software development specialist.

Exploring big data visualization tools

Three undergraduates from Northern Illinois University—Myrline Sylveus, May-Myo Khine, and Marium Yousuf—teamed up to explore the possibilities of using Apache Spark, an open-source big data processing framework, for in situ (i.e., real-time) data analysis and visualization.

“With our project, we wanted to demonstrate the value of in situanalysis,” Sylveus said. “This approach allows researchers to gain insights more quickly by analyzing and visualizing data during large simulation runs.”

The team focused on defining a workflow for in situ processing of images using a combination of PySpark, the Spark Python API (application programming interface), and Jupyter Notebooks, an open-source web application for creating and sharing documents that contain live code, equations, and visualizations. They ran the Apache Spark framework on Sage, a Cray Urika-GX system housed in Argonne’s Joint Laboratory for System Evaluation.

“Hopefully, our findings will help researchers who plan to use Apache Spark in the future by providing guidance on which resources, modules, and techniques work effectively,” Khine said.

The students’ work also provided some insights that will benefit ALCF’s visualization team as they continue to explore Apache Spark as a potential in situ analysis tool for the ALCF user community.

“This summer project helped us to understand the streaming library component of Apache Spark that connects to live simulation codes,” said ALCF computer scientist Silvio Rizzi, who mentored the students along with Joseph Insley, the ALCF’s visualization team lead.

After spending their summer at the ALCF, the three students were inspired by their opportunity to work at one of the nation’s leading institutions for scientific and engineering research.

“I am more encouraged and motivated to continue reaching toward my goal of becoming part of the research field,” Yousuf said.

About Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.


Source: Jim Collins, Argonne National Laboratory

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!

Migration Tools Needed to Shift ML to Production

September 20, 2018

The confluence of accelerators like cloud GPUs along with the ability to handle data-rich HPC workloads will help push more machine learning projects into production, concludes a new study that also stresses the importan Read more…

By George Leopold

Kyoto University ACCMS Implements Fine-grained Power Management

September 19, 2018

Data center power management is a ubiquitous challenge and in few places is it more so than at Kyoto University Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies (ACCMS)) where power consumption limits were imposed followi Read more…

By Staff

What’s New in HPC Research: September (Part 1)

September 18, 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 every Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

A Crystal Ball for HPC

People are notoriously bad at predicting the future.  This very much includes experts. In the Forbes article “Why Most Predictions Are So Bad” Philip Tetlock discusses the largest and best-known test of the accuracy of expert predictions which show that any experts would do better if they make random guesses. Read more…

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and development. Among other things it would establish a National Quantu Read more…

By John Russell

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and developm Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Accelerates AI Inference in the Datacenter with T4 GPU

September 14, 2018

Nvidia is upping its game for AI inference in the datacenter with a new platform consisting of an inference accelerator chip--the new Turing-based Tesla T4 GPU- Read more…

By George Leopold

DeepSense Combines HPC and AI to Bolster Canada’s Ocean Economy

September 13, 2018

We often hear scientists say that we know less than 10 percent of the life of the oceans. This week, IBM and a group of Canadian industry and government partner Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Rigetti (and Others) Pursuit of Quantum Advantage

September 11, 2018

Remember ‘quantum supremacy’, the much-touted but little-loved idea that the age of quantum computing would be signaled when quantum computers could tackle Read more…

By John Russell

How FPGAs Accelerate Financial Services Workloads

September 11, 2018

While FSI companies are unlikely, for competitive reasons, to disclose their FPGA strategies, James Reinders offers insights into the case for FPGAs as accelerators for FSI by discussing performance, power, size, latency, jitter and inline processing. Read more…

By James Reinders

Update from Gregory Kurtzer on Singularity’s Push into FS and the Enterprise

September 11, 2018

Container technology is hardly new but it has undergone rapid evolution in the HPC space in recent years to accommodate traditional science workloads and HPC systems requirements. While Docker containers continue to dominate in the enterprise, other variants are becoming important and one alternative with distinctly HPC roots – Singularity – is making an enterprise push targeting advanced scale workload inclusive of HPC. Read more…

By John Russell

At HPC on Wall Street: AI-as-a-Service Accelerates AI Journeys

September 10, 2018

AIaaS – artificial intelligence-as-a-service – is the technology discipline that eases enterprise entry into the mysteries of the AI journey while lowering Read more…

By Doug Black

No Go for GloFo at 7nm; and the Fujitsu A64FX post-K CPU

September 5, 2018

It’s been a news worthy couple of weeks in the semiconductor and HPC industry. There were several HPC relevant disclosures at Hot Chips 2018 to whet appetites Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

TACC Wins Next NSF-funded Major Supercomputer

July 30, 2018

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has won the next NSF-funded big supercomputer beating out rivals including the National Center for Supercomputing Ap Read more…

By John Russell

IBM at Hot Chips: What’s Next for Power

August 23, 2018

With processor, memory and networking technologies all racing to fill in for an ailing Moore’s law, the era of the heterogeneous datacenter is well underway, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Requiem for a Phi: Knights Landing Discontinued

July 25, 2018

On Monday, Intel made public its end of life strategy for the Knights Landing "KNL" Phi product set. The announcement makes official what has already been wide Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

ORNL Summit Supercomputer Is Officially Here

June 8, 2018

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) together with IBM and Nvidia celebrated the official unveiling of the Department of Energy (DOE) Summit supercomputer toda Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

By John Russell

AMD’s EPYC Road to Redemption in Six Slides

June 21, 2018

A year ago AMD returned to the server market with its EPYC processor line. The earth didn’t tremble but folks took notice. People remember the Opteron fondly Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

Sandia to Take Delivery of World’s Largest Arm System

June 18, 2018

While the enterprise remains circumspect on prospects for Arm servers in the datacenter, the leadership HPC community is taking a bolder, brighter view of the x86 server CPU alternative. Amongst current and planned Arm HPC installations – i.e., the innovative Mont-Blanc project, led by Bull/Atos, the 'Isambard’ Cray XC50 going into the University of Bristol, and commitments from both Japan and France among others -- HPE is announcing that it will be supply the United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with a 2.3 petaflops peak Arm-based system, named Astra. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Pledges First Commercial Nervana Product ‘Spring Crest’ in 2019

May 24, 2018

At its AI developer conference in San Francisco yesterday, Intel embraced a holistic approach to AI and showed off a broad AI portfolio that includes Xeon processors, Movidius technologies, FPGAs and Intel’s Nervana Neural Network Processors (NNPs), based on the technology it acquired in 2016. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and developm Read more…

By John Russell

Pattern Computer – Startup Claims Breakthrough in ‘Pattern Discovery’ Technology

May 23, 2018

If it weren’t for the heavy-hitter technology team behind start-up Pattern Computer, which emerged from stealth today in a live-streamed event from San Franci Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

TACC’s ‘Frontera’ Supercomputer Expands Horizon for Extreme-Scale Science

August 29, 2018

The National Science Foundation and the Texas Advanced Computing Center announced today that a new system, called Frontera, will overtake Stampede 2 as the fast Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GPUs Power Five of World’s Top Seven Supercomputers

June 25, 2018

The top 10 echelon of the newly minted Top500 list boasts three powerful new systems with one common engine: the Nvidia Volta V100 general-purpose graphics proc 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