ISC HPC 2016: Form Follows Function – Do algorithms and applications challenge or drag behind the hardware evolution?

This workshop has been features by HPC Wire! There’s a summary of the workshop’s insights available from arXiv.

Conference: ISC High Performance
Date: 23 June 2016
Organisers: Tobias Weinzierl, Michael Bader
Venue: Frankfurt Marriott Hotel, room Volt (5th floor)

Exascale roadmaps are dominated by predictions on hardware trends. At the same time, hardware-software co-design is a frequently cited phrase. It suggests that software development has an impact on the hardware evolution. Is this assumption valid? If so, what does this interplay of predicted hardware improvements and software development look like? We invite speakers from consortia developing exascale codes designing software for hardware that does not yet exist. The project-driven talks are complemented by vendor-driven provocations. The aim of the workshop is to sketch answers to a couple of questions from an algorithm/application point of view:

  1. How do predictions on new hardware features impact the projects’ research agenda? Notably, how do the hardware roadmaps shape algorithm development today?
  2. What characteristics make some applications exascale candidates? Do these characteristics stem from particular algorithmic ideas, and are there constraints on the type of algorithms and applications that we will see soon on the exascale level?
  3. Do statements on hardware-aware algorithm development and hardware-software co-design affect particular machine aspects, or is notably the last term a buzzword?
  4. To which degree can simulation codes have an impact on what machines are designed?


Jack Dongarra, Iain Duff, Laura Grigori and Bo Kagström: The NLAFET Project: Enabling Performance and Scalability for Linear Algebra Software on HPC Systems

Jack Dongarra holds an appointment at the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Manchester. He specializes in numerical algorithms in linear algebra, parallel computing, use of advanced-computer architectures, programming methodology, and tools for parallel computers. He was awarded the IEEE Sid Fernbach Award in 2004; in 2008 he was the recipient of the first IEEE Medal of Excellence in Scalable Computing; in 2010 he was the first recipient of the SIAM Special Interest Group on Supercomputing’s award for Career Achievement; in 2011 he was the recipient of the IEEE IPDPS Charles Babbage Award; and in 2013 he received the ACM/IEEE Ken Kennedy Award. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, IEEE, and SIAM and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Erwin Laure and Philipp Schlatter: Co-design in CFD – Initial Experiences from the ExaFLOW (Enabling Exascale Fluid Dynamics Simulations) Project

Erwin Laure is Director of the PDC – Center for High Performance Computing Center at KTH, Stockholm. He is the Coordinator of the EC-funded ExaFLOW and EPiGRAM projects and actively involved in major e-infrastructure projects (EGI, PRACE, EUDAT) as well as exascale computing projects. He is also the coordinator of the HPC Center of Excellence for Computational Biomolecular Research (BioExcel). His research interests include programming environments, languages, compilers and runtime systems for parallel and distributed computing, with a focus on exascale computing.

Raphaël Léger: A feedback on approaching the DEEP-ER platform with a DGTD-based simulation software for Bioelectromagnetics applications

Raphaël Léger received his PhD degree in Applied Mathematics from the University Paris-Est Marne-La-Vallee in 2011. His doctoral research, conducted within the Computational Fluid Dynamics and aeroacoustics group of Onera (the French aerospace lab), is concerned with the development of high-order numerical methodologies for complex acoustic wave propagation problems. In May 2012, he joined the Nachos project-team of Inria Sophia-Antipolis Méditerranée as a postdoctoral research fellow. He has been involved since then in the development of flexible numerical methodologies based on Discontinuous Galerkin Time-Domain methods for electromagnetic wave propagation problems (mainly targeting nanophotonics and bioelectromagnetics applications) as well as their implementation in a massively parallel context. Since December 2013, he is involved in the co-design process of the DEEP-ER European project on Exascale computing in which he contributes as an application developer.

Peter Messmer and Daniel Thiemert: The ESCAPE project – an NVIDIA point of view

Peter Messmer is the Director of the NVIDIA Co-Design Lab for Hybrid Multicore Computing at ETH Zurich and a Senior Software Engineer in the Compute Developer Technology Group, NVIDIA’s consulting group for scientific computing projects on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). Since joining NVIDIA in November 2011, Peter Messmer has been working with clients on accelerating a range of projects with GPUs, including ocean simulation, weather forecast codes, and seismic simulation codes both with CUDA and OpenACC.

Marie-Christine Sawley: Feedback from working on proto-applications to prepare for extreme scaling (Intel IPAG-EU, EXA2CT project)

Marie-Christine Sawley holds a degree in Physics and a PhD in Plasma Physics from EPFL (1985). After a postdoc at the University of Sydney, she joined the EPFL in 1988 to lead the support group for HPC applications. She led a number of HPC initiatives for introducing new technology at the EPFL such as the PATP with the Cray T3D, the SwissTX prototype and the establishing the Vital IT partnership between HP, EPFL and the SIB. She joined the ETH Zurich in 2003 to become the general manager of the Swiss national Supercomputing centre, significantly expanding its capacities to serve a large scientific and technology portfolio. From 2008 until 2010 she worked as senior scientist at the Institute for particle physics of ETH on the massive computing requirements on the LCG grid for the CMS detector. She joined Intel at the end of 2010 to become the Intel manager of the ECR lab in Paris. The ECR lab activities concentrate on software for Exascale, tools, runtime models and applications for XEON and MIC. Marie-Christine drove the Intel participation in the EXA2CT project.

Michèle Weiland and Mark Parsons: Addressing the I/O bottleneck of HPC workloads (NEXTGenIO)

Michèle Weiland is a Project Manager at EPCC. She is the Project Coordinator for the EC Framework 7 funded project Adept (Addressing Energy in Parallel Technologies), which focuses on modelling the power usage and the performance of parallel software on a wide range of hardware architectures. More recently she has taken on the role of Project Manager of the FET-HPC NEXTGenIO project. Prior to this she was involved in the Exascale focused CRESTA project. She is the PI for a collaborative project with the UK Met Office, developing the next generation cloud model, and the Co-I for a UK-funded Software for the Future project that will develop a new simulation and optimisation platform for marine technology. Michèle’s research interests are in the fields of energy efficiency, software performance analysis and novel programming models.

Xavier Vigouroux and Daniel Thiemert: The ESCAPE project – an Atos-Bull point of view

After a PhD in Distributed computing, Xavier Vigouroux worked for several major companies in different positions: From Investigator at Sun labs to Support Engineer for HP. He has now been working for Bull – now integrated within Atos – for several years. He led the HPC benchmarking team for the first five years and is now in charge of the Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming at Atos.


Jack’s slides:Form Follows Function
Mark’s slides:Form Follows Function
Peter’s slides:ESCAPE
Philipp’s slides:Co-design in CFD – Initial Experiences from the ExaFLOW Project
Raphaël’s slides:A feedback on approaching the DEEP-ER platform with a DGTD-based simulation software for Bioelectromagnetics applications
Xavier’s slides:The ESCAPE project – an Atos-Bull point of view