SINGAPORE, March 24, 2020 — The HPC-AI Advisory Council (HPCAIAC) and the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore today announced the launch of the 2020 APAC HPC-AI Competition. Continuing the success of the previous competitions, the 3rd Annual 2020 APAC HPC-AI competition expects to host multiple teams from across the APAC region. The student teams will compete against international teams to produce solutions and applications in the High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) domains.
Co-organized by the HPC-AI Advisory Council and NSCC, the competition is sponsored by Mellanox, NVIDIA, AMD and WekaIO. The competition will be open to student APAC teams and will continue through until October 19, 2020. The Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network (SingAREN) will be joining as a supporting organization for the competition in 2020.
AI is a pillar of today’s technological world, offering solutions that enable better and more accurate decisions based on the massive amounts of data being collected. AI encompasses a wide-range of trends and use cases that apply to nearly every industry today – from security, finance, and image and language recognition, to self-driving cars and smart cities.
HPC enables universities, research laboratories and commercial vendors to develop the products and services of tomorrow – from safer cars and airplanes, to accurate weather and storm prediction, to finding new cures, and much more. Since HPC and AI applications share the same underlying technologies and infrastructures, new developments in HPC are immediately being adopted for AI, and vice versa. HPC and AI supercomputers are the essential tools that are needed to conduct research, enable scientific discoveries, design new products, and develop self-learning software algorithms.
The APAC HPC-AI competition promotes the latest HPC and AI technologies to the universities and research centers and trains the students with the latest HPC and AI technologies to help bridge the gap between universities/research institutes and industries. The competition trains the undergraduate and graduate students to practice on the newest HPC and AI platforms, and provides the key ingredients and industry tools to optimize the production applications.
The final competition results will be announced at and during the Supercomputing Conference 2020 (SC20) in Atlanta, USA in November 2020 with the award ceremony set to take place at the SupercomputingAsia 2021 (SCA21) conference in Singapore, which is scheduled for March 2021.
During the 1st and 2nd APAC HPC-AI competition, the AI challenge focused on performing image recognition model training. The competition teams had demonstrated excellent techniques to reach the maximum performance in the distributed training system.
In this 3rd APAC HPC-AI competition, the challenge will move from image recognition to language recognition. Natural Language Processing (NLP) helps program a computer to understand human nature language instead of traditionally used programming language. This is one of the most challenging projects of AI today and has attracted worldwide efforts for increased optimization. Published by researchers at Google AI Language, Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) is a key technical innovation of a language training model. TensorFlow + BERTLarge were chosen for the 2020 HPC-AI competition.
The 1st HPC-AI competition also focused on the optimization of Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) for mesoscale numerical weather prediction. The 2nd HPC-AI competition then focused on optimizing SPH With Inter-dependent Fine-grained Tasking (SWIFT) for astrophysics and cosmology research. Both applications’ performance was significantly improved and received positive feedback from the industry. The HPC-related challenge this year will be directed towards the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO), which is a state-of-the-art modelling framework for research activities and forecasting services in ocean and climate sciences that is broadly used in many national oceanic and environment prediction centers.
“We are pleased to work with NSCC Singapore again to offer this incredible opportunity for students around APAC to contribute to the development of the core knowledge and critical skills for the region’s new generation of HPC and AI researchers, scientists and professionals. We look forward to welcoming the incoming teams and wish all of the entries good luck,” said Gilad Shainer, Chairman of the HPC-AI Advisory Council.
“The confluence between HPC and AI is growing more and more each day. Preparing the next generation of scientists who are trained to leverage combined HPC and AI aspects in future research ensures the growth of a multi-disciplinary research community that is able to adapt to the world’s increasingly complex global issues such as the environment, technology development and even epidemiology. In particular, we hope that the HPC-AI training established among our young aspiring programmers can help us tackle global threats such as COVID-19 and accelerate an improved response to future pandemics,” said Professor Tan Tin Wee, Chief Executive, National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore.
For more information on the 3rd APAC HPC-AI competition, please visit the HPC-AI Advisory Council website:
About HPC-AI Advisory Council
Founded in 2008, The HPC-AI Advisory Council (HPCAIAC) is a for community benefit organization with over 400 members committed to bridge the gap between high-performance computing and artificial intelligence use and its potential, bringing the beneficial capabilities of HPC and AI to new users for better research, education, innovation and product manufacturing, and brings users the expertise needed to operate HPC and AI systems, provide application designers with the tools needed to enable parallel computing, and to strengthen the qualification and integration of HPC and AI system products. For more information, please visit: www.hpcadvisorycouncil.com
About National Supercomputing Centre Singapore
The National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore was established in 2015 and manages Singapore’s first national petascale facility with available high performance computing (HPC) resources. As a National Research Infrastructure we support the HPC research needs of the public and private sectors, including research institutes, institutes of higher learning, government agencies and companies. With the support of its stakeholders, including Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), and funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF), NSCC catalyses national research and development initiatives, attracts industrial research collaborations and enhances Singapore’s research capabilities. For more information, please visit https://www.nscc.sg/
SingAREN (Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network) is Singapore’s national research and education network. It is the sole provider of local and international networks and services dedicated for serving the Research and Education community in Singapore. SingAREN’s members consist of the Institutions of Higher Learning, Research Organizations, Government and network industry players. SingAREN facilitates high-speed transfers of large datasets across international boundaries for scientific research and enables advanced network technology demonstrations through its resilient international links and high-speed fiber network. SingAREN Open Exchange (SOE) interconnects Singapore’s research and education community to the Research and Education Networks (RENs) in other countries in Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S.A. For more information, visit www.singaren.net.sg.