People - Written by on December 8, 2015

ORNL Helps Transform High-Performance Computing at SC15

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OLCF and ORNL staff members joined forces with colleagues from other DOE national laboratories at SC15 in Austin.

OLCF and ORNL staff members joined forces with colleagues from other DOE national laboratories at SC15 in Austin.

OLCF users and staff participate in diverse programs and events at 27th annual supercomputing conference

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility located at ORNL, once again took leadership roles at SC15, the 27th meeting of the annual supercomputing conference.

The international conference, which took place November 15–20 in Austin, Texas, brought professionals from the world’s leading supercomputing centers together with high-performance computing (HPC) users, developers, and sponsors from academia, industry, and government laboratories. The theme for SC15 was “HPC Transforms.”

SC15 allowed participants to share knowledge and plans through a wide variety of tutorials, workshops, panel discussions, invited talks, research poster sessions, technical paper presentations, birds of a feather sessions for conference participants with specific shared interests, and more.

For example, OLCF facility user Thomas Jordan of the Southern California Earthquake Center, headquartered at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, presented an invited talk titled “Societal Impact of Earthquake Simulations at Extreme Scale” on November 19. He summarized how earthquake simulations at increasing levels of scale and sophistication have contributed to the greater understanding of seismic phenomena, focusing on the practical use of simulations to reduce seismic risk and enhance community resilience.

Several ORNL staff members served on committees to help organize the conference. Jim Rogers, director of computing and facilities for the National Center for Computational Sciences, served as the logistics/equipment cochair; HPC systems Linux administrator Jason Kincl was the SCC technical lead; and user support specialist/programmer Veronica Vergara Larrea served as the chair for the student programs coordination committee.

The OLCF team was also immersed in the conference in a variety of activities and events. OLCF project director Buddy Bland accepted the HPCwire Editors’ Choice Award for “Best HPC Collaboration Between Government & Industry” at the conference on November 17. The award, presented by HPCwire President and CEO Tom Tabor, recognized the collaboration to build next-generation supercomputers Summit and Sierra at ORNL and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, respectively.

A team featuring OLCF Advanced Data and Workflow Group leader Rangan Sukumar presented one of the data demonstrations at the DOE booth at SC15. The demo included a presentation and a live demonstration (now accessible at hypothesis.ornl.gov) of a futuristic next-generation knowledge-discovery framework that allows medical professionals to use HPC to assist with a complex medical diagnosis. The framework, called Oak Ridge Graph Analytics for Medical Innovations (ORiGAMI) was deployed on the National Library of Medicine’s Semantic Medline, an archive of medical data compiled since 1994, with workflows involving the Cray Urika-XA and Urika-GD appliances offered to users as part of ORNL’s Compute and Data Environment for Science (CADES).

The demonstration showed recent advances with ORiGAMI as an open-science artificial intelligence system in comparison with capabilities offered by groundbreaking innovations in IBM’s Watson Analytics. The demonstration concluded with recent discoveries using the system that clinical subject matter experts have made.

Members of the OLCF staff and user groups also presented several papers and posters, served as moderators, and organized workshops during SC15, including the following:

  • Devesh Tiwari, Saurabh Gupta, Jim Rogers, and Don Maxwell presented “Reliability Lessons Learned from GPU Experience with the Titan Supercomputer at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility.”
  • Suzanne Parete-Koon and Bronson Messer were collaborators on an OLCF user-led paper, “Large-Scale Compute-Intensive Analysis Via a Combined In Situ and Co-Scheduling Workflow Approach.”
  • OLCF industrial user David Gutzwiller of Numeca USA won the Best Paper award for his paper titled “Acceleration of the FINE/Turbo CFD Solver in a Heterogeneous Environment with OpenACC” at the Second Workshop on Accelerator Programming using Directives on November 16. Gutzwiller, who was the principal author, accepted an NVIDIA Quadro M6000 for the paper, which was coauthored by Ravi Srinivasan of the Dresser-Rand Group and Alain Demeulenaere, also of Numeca USA. The SC15 workshop aimed to bring together the user and tools community to share knowledge and experiences using directives to program accelerators.
  • Scientific Computing Group leader Tjerk Straatsma co-led the workshop “Portability Among HPC Architectures for Scientific Applications.”
  • User Assistance specialist Fernanda Foertter again led the Second SC Workshop on Best Practices for HPC Training.
  • Foertter and OLCF director of science Jack Wells participated in the panel “Programming Models for Parallel Architectures and Requirements for Pre-Exascale.”
  • Computer Visualization specialist David Pugmire facilitated the tutorial “Effective HPC Visualization and Data Analysis using VisIT” and joined other members of the OLCF in the tutorial “Data Management, Analysis, and Visualization Tools for Data-Intensive Science.”
  • Software engineer Eric Lingerfelt and computational scientist Bronson Messer presented in the poster session “Bellerophon: A Computational Workflow Environment for Real-time Analysis, Artifact Management, and Regression Testing of Core-Collapse Supernova Simulations.”
  • Computer Science Research Group leader David Bernholdt moderated the session “Software Engineering for Computational Science and Engineering on Supercomputers.”
  • – Miki Nolin

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is supported by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.