Finalists Compete for ACM Gordon Bell Prize in HPC

August 11, 2014

NEW ORLEANS, La., Aug. 11 — With five technical papers contending for one of the highest honored awards in high performance computing (HPC), the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) awards committee has four months left to choose a winner for the prestigious 2014 Gordon Bell Prize. The winner of this prize will have demonstrated an outstanding achievement in HPC that helps solve critical science and engineering problems. The committee will officially release the announcement of the Gordon Bell Prize winner at the 26th annual Supercomputing Conference (SC) awards ceremony this November in New Orleans. Financial support of the $10,000 award is provided by Gordon Bell, a pioneer in high-performance and parallel computing.

With an emphasis on HPC applications in science, engineering, and large-scale data analytics; the Gordon Bell Prize tracks the overall progress in parallel computing. It is an annual award given to an individual or team who has demonstrated an outstanding achievement in one of three areas: peak performance, scalability and time-to-solution, or a special achievement. Submitted papers must follow a structure to elucidate what the innovations were, the performance levels achieved on one or more real-world applications, and what the implications of the approach are for the broader HPC community. Solving an important scientific or engineering problem in HPC is important to demonstrate and justify, but scientific outcomes alone are not sufficient for this prize.

“The committee had the difficult but fun task of deciding the award’s finalists—five this year—from which the single winner will be selected,” says chair of ACM’s Gordon Bell prize committee, Adolfy Hoisie and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL) Director of Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and Data Division. “We had a very good set of submissions representing a spectrum of award-relevant areas such as new or specialized architectures, advances in algorithms and applications leading to high performance, or indicating significantly increased performance on large-scale systems through a combination of increased system and application performance.”

 This year’s finalists are:

  • “Real-time Scalable Cortical Computing at 46 Giga-Synaptic OPS/Watt with ~100× Speedup in Time-to-Solution and ~100,000× Reduction in Energy-to-Solution,” with research led by Dharmendra S. Modha, IBM Fellow and IBM Chief Scientist – Brain-inspired Computing, and team including members from IBM and Cornell Tech;
  • “24.77 Pflops on a Gravitational Tree-Code to Simulate the Milky Way Galaxy with 18600 GPUs,” with their research led by Simon Portegies Zwart and Jeroen Bédorf of the Netherland’s Leiden Observatory and team;
  • “Anton 2: Raising the Bar for Performance and Programmability in a Special-Purpose Molecular Dynamics Supercomputer,” with lead researcher David E. Shaw, of DE Shaw Research, and team;
  • “Petascale High Order Dynamic Rupture Earthquake Simulations on Heterogeneous Supercomputers,” a collaborative research project co-led by Michael Bader (TUM, Germany), Christian Pelties (LMU, Germany) and Alexander Heinecke (Intel, United States); and
  • “Physics-based urban earthquake simulation enhanced by 10.7 BlnDOF x30 K time-step unstructured FE non-linear seismic wave simulation,” with research led by the University of Tokyo’s Tsuyoshi Ichimura.

The authors of “Real-time Scalable Cortical Computing at 46 Giga-Synaptic OPS/Watt with ~100× Speedup in Time-to-Solution and ~100,000× Reduction in Energy-to-Solution” developed a parallel, event-driven kernel for neurosynaptic computation, called TrueNorth, that targets a broad range of cognitive applications. This kernel is highly efficient with respect to computation, memory, and communication. This entry also demonstrates TrueNorth as a co-designed silicon expression of the kernel. (Read more about the paper.)

“24.77 Pflops on a Gravitational Tree-Code to Simulate the Milky Way Galaxy with 18600 GPUs,” looks at the long-term evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is simulated in this submission using 51 billion particles. The simulation achieves impressive performance on the Swiss Piz Daint supercomputer using the N-body gravitational tree-code Bonsai. (Read more about the paper.)

The paper “Anton 2: Raising the Bar for Performance and Programmability in a Special-Purpose Molecular Dynamics Supercomputer” introduces a second-generation special-purpose supercomputer for molecular dynamics simulations, Anton 2. The authors’ results indicate significant gains in performance, programmability, and capacity compared to its predecessor, Anton 1, with simulations running up to 180 times faster than on any general-purpose hardware. (Read more about the paper.)

In a “Petascale High Order Dynamic Rupture Earthquake Simulations on Heterogeneous Supercomputers,” the authors present an end-to-end optimization of the Arbitrary high-order DERivative Discontinuous Galerkin (ADER-DG) software SeisSol. The optimizations target the Intel® Xeon Phi coprocessor platforms, achieving impressive earthquake model complexity of complex seismic wave propagation phenomena.  (Read more about the paper.)

And finally, the science in the paper “Physics-based urban earthquake simulation enhanced by 10.7 BlnDOF x 30 K time-step unstructured FE non-linear seismic wave simulation” works to improve the reliability of urban earthquake response analyses, using an unstructured 3D finite-element-based wave amplification simulation code, GAMERA running on the K computer. (Read more about the paper.)

One of these papers will be announced the winner of the 2014 Gordon Bell Prize with the runner-up receiving Honorable Mention.

The Gordon Bell awards committee is selected by ACM and comprised of past Gordon Bell winners, as well as leaders in the field.

Last year’s Gordon Bell Prize went to an international team of experts from Germany, Switzerland and the United States: Nikolaus Adams, Costas Bekas, Adam Bertsch, Alessandro Curioni, Scott Futral, Panagiotis Hadjidoukas, Babak Hejazialhosseini, Petros Koumoutsakos, Diego Rossinelli, and Steffen Schmidt for “11 PFLOP/s Simulations of Cloud Cavitation Collapse,” which is published in the Proceedings of SC13 and available to read from the ACM Digital Library.

Read more about the Gordon Bell Prize at http://awards.acm.org/bell/.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery www.acm.org, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional.

Source: ACM

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