2012

April

ASCR Monthly Computing News Report—April 2012



This monthly survey of computing news of interest to ASCR is compiled by Jon Bashor (JBashor@lbl.gov) with news provided by Argonne, Fermi, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia national labs.

In this issue:
Research News
Argonne Researchers Co-Author Nine of Top 22 Papers of HPDC Over 20 Years
DOE Report Calls for Paradigm Shift in Applied Math Research
Pioneering Simulation Shows Carbon Dioxide Caused Global Warming at Ice Age’s End

People
Argonne Computational Scientist Barry Smith Recognized as SIAM Fellow
Argonne’s Sou-Cheng Choi Wins Linear Algebra Prize
LBNL’s David Bailey’s Articles on Experimental Math Collected in New Book

Facilities/Infrastructure
Researchers Take Test Drives on ANI’s 100-Gigabit Testbed to Assess New Technologies
Eli Dart Answers Questions About ESnet’s Science DMZ
NERSC Releases Mobile Apps to Users

Outreach and Education
Austin Workshop Looks at Lab-Industry Collaborations
Washington Symposium Highlights Science Enabled by Hybrid Supercomputing
OLCF Managers Speak at Conference for Women in Research
ESnet and NERSC Spotlighted at GlobusWORLD, HPC User Forum

Research News

Argonne Researchers Co-Author Nine of Top 22 Papers of HPDC Over 20 Years
Researchers in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division were coauthors of 9 of the top 22 papers in the past 20 years of publications by the International ACM Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing (HPDC). HPDC is the premier computer science conference for presenting new results relating to large-scale, high-performance parallel and distributed systems used in both science and industry. For 20 years, HPDC has been at the center of new discoveries in clusters, grids, clouds, and parallel and multicore computers. The top papers from Argonne covered topics ranging from the Globus Toolkit and its applications in grid computing, to management of large-scale distributed scientific collaborations, to a common component architecture for high-performance computing.

Here is a list of those papers:

  • “Condor-G: A Computation Management Agent for Multi-Institutional Grids,” James Frey, Todd Tannenbaum, Miron Livny, Ian Foster, Steven Tuecke, 2001
  • “Grid Information Services for Distributed Resource Sharing,” Karl Czajkowski, Steven Fitzgerald, Ian Foster, Carl Kesselman, 2001.
  • “Application Experiences with the Globus Toolkit,” Sharon Brunett, Karl Czajkowski, Steven Fitzgerald, Ian Foster, Andrew Johnson, Carl Kesselman, Jason Leigh, Steven Tuecke, 1998.
  • “Toward a Common Component Architecture for High-Performance Scientific Computing,” Rob Armstrong, Dennis Gannon, Al Geist, Katarzyna Keahey, Scott Kohn, Lois McInnes, Steve Parker, Brent Smolinski, 1999.
  • “An Enabling Framework for Master-Worker Applications on the Computational Grid,” Jean-Pierre Goux, Sanjeev Kulkarni, Jeff Linderoth, Michael Yoder, 2000.
  • “An Online Credential Repository for the Grid: MyProxy,” Jason Novotny, Steven Tuecke, Von Welch, 2001.
  • “Decoupling Computation and Data Scheduling in Distributed Data-Intensive Applications,” Kavitha Ranganathan, Ian Foster, 2002.
  • “Resource Co-Allocation in Computational Grids,” Karl Czajkowski, Ian Foster, Carl Kesselman, 1999.
  • “Security for Grid Services,” Von Welch, Frank Siebenlist, Ian Foster, John Bresnahan, Karl Czajkowski, Jarek Gawor, Carl Kesselman, Sam Meder, Laura Pearlman, Steven Tuecke, 2003.

For further information about the award-winning papers, see the HPDC websiteExternal link.

DOE Report Calls for Paradigm Shift in Applied Math Research

The Report of the DOE Workshop on Mathematics for the Analysis, Simulation, and Optimization of Complex Systems, of which Berkeley Lab’s John Bell and David Brown are co-authors, has been released by DOE. The report, titled A Multifaceted Mathematical Approach for Complex Systems, identifies several priority research directions for DOE-funded mathematics, and comments that the “type of research activities envisioned for multifaceted mathematics represents a paradigm shift from the traditional single-investigator model for applied mathematics research.... This type of paradigm shift will enable applied mathematicians to make a significant impact on scientific and engineering challenges that face DOE.”

Pioneering Simulation Shows Carbon Dioxide Caused Global Warming at Ice Age’s End
A multi-institutional team led by researchers at Harvard University, Oregon State University, and the University of Wisconsin used a global dataset of paleoclimate records and the Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to analyze 15,000 years of climate history. The results are published in the April 5 issue of Nature. Scientists hope amassing knowledge of the causes of natural global climate change will aid understanding of human-caused climate change.

While the geologic record showed a remarkable correlation between carbon dioxide and global temperature, the researchers also turned to state-of-the-art model simulations to further pin down the direction of causation suggested by the temperature lag. Jaguar recently ran approximately 14 million processor hours to simulate the most recent 21,000 years of Earth’s climate. Feng He of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a postdoctoral researcher, plugged the main forcings driving global climate over this time interval into an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)–class model called the Community Climate System Model version 3, a global climate model that couples interactions between atmosphere, oceans, lands, and sea ice. The climate science community developed the model with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration and used many codes developed by university researchers.

“Our model results are the first IPCC-class Coupled General Circulation Model simulation of such a long duration (15,000 years),” said He, who conducted the modeling with Zhengyu Liu of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Bette Otto-Bliesner of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “This is of particular significance to the climate community because it shows, for the first time, that at least one of the CGCMs used to predict future climate is capable of reproducing both the timing and amplitude of climate evolution seen in the past under realistic climate forcing.”
Read the full article.External link

People

Argonne Computational Scientist Barry Smith Recognized as SIAM Fellow
Barry Smith, a senior computational mathematician in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, has been named a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). The fellowship program awards those who have been members of SIAM for at least 15 years and who have made outstanding contributions in research, education or industrial activities. Smith is internationally recognized as the “father” of PETSc, the Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific computation, which is considered the gold standard for high-performance applications based on partial differential equations. Smith’s current projects include designing and implementing efficient solvers for cutting-edge simulations on U.S. leadership-class computers. For example, he is on the Executive Council for the FASTMath project, which is investigating ways to implement algorithms on future computer architectures with multicore nodes and million-way parallelism, enabling domain scientists to achieve new scientific results that were previously unobtainable.

Argonne’s Sou-Cheng Choi Wins Linear Algebra Prize
Sou-Cheng Choi, together with colleagues Christopher Paige and Michael Saunders, has won the 2012 SIAM Activity Group on Linear Algebra (SIAG/LA) Prize for the paper “MINRES-QLP: A Krylov Subspace Method for Indefinite or Singular Symmetric Systems,” which appeared in the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing in 2011. The prize is awarded by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) for the best scientific work published in linear algebra during the past three years. Past recipients include several members of the National Academies (U.S. and foreign) as well as a Turing Award winner.

Choi is a computational mathematician in the University of Chicago’s Computation Institute and holds a joint appointment at Argonne National Laboratory. She received her Ph.D. in computational and mathematical engineering from Stanford University in 2007. Paige is a McGill University emeritus professor, and Saunders is a research professor at Stanford University. According to the SIAG/LA Prize committee, “The authors improve on MINRES, an elegant, efficient and widely used iterative method for linear systems, achieving optimal accuracy and extending the algorithm to the solution of least squares problems.” The SIAG/LA Prize will be awarded on June 21 at the SIAM Conference on Applied Linear Algebra in Valencia, Spain, where Choi will present a talk on the award-winning paper.

LBNL’s David Bailey’s Articles on Experimental Math Collected in New Book

David Bailey, leader of the Complex Systems Group in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (LBNL’s) Computational Research Division, and University of Newcastle Mathematics Professor Jonathan Borwein have collaborated on the subject of experimental mathematics for a quarter of a century. A new book, Exploratory Experimentation in Mathematics: Selected Works,External link collects sixteen articles they wrote together or separately and with coauthors. These works reflect Bailey and Borwein’s work on and their views about the changing face of computer-assisted “high-performance” mathematics.

Also, in a column for the Huffington Post, Bailey and Borwein write about how the computing and communication revolution has changed how humans play games, and predict how our relationship with computer games will evolve in the next few decades. Read more.External link

Facilities/Infrastructure

Researchers Take Test Drives on ANI’s 100-Gigabit Testbed to Assess New Technologies
In an effort to spur U.S. scientific competitiveness, as well as accelerate development and widespread deployment of 100-gigabit technology, the Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI) was created with $62 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and implemented by ESnet. ANI was established to build a 100 Gbps national prototype network and a wide-area network testbed, thereby laying a foundation for a network to support data-intensive science.

So far more than 25 groups have taken advantage of ESnet’s wide-area testbed, which is open to researchers from government agencies and private industry to test new, potentially disruptive technologies without interfering with production science network traffic. The unique testbed currently connects three unclassified DOE supercomputing facilities: the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in Oakland, Calif., the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) in Argonne, Ill., and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

“There is a data revolution occurring in science,” says Greg Bell, acting director of ESnet, which is managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “Over the last decade, the amount of scientific data transferred over our network has increased at a rate of about 72 percent per year, and we see that trend potentially accelerating.”
Read more.External link


As science becomes increasingly data-intensive, ESnet is helping research institutions fully capitalize on the growing availability of bandwidth by encouraging them to use a network design model called the “Science DMZ.” The Science DMZ is a specially designed local networking infrastructure aimed at speeding the delivery of scientific data. In this interview, also published in HPCwire, Eli Dart, who leads the Science DMZ effort at ESnet, answers some basic questions about the project. Read more.External link

NERSC Releases Mobile Apps to Users
In an effort to make NERSC resources more accessible to users, the facility is rolling out a number of applications that allow researchers to access scientific data on their web browsers, tablets, and smart phones. In April NERSC announced two new applications now available to its users:

The NERSC mobile user portalExternal link allows researchers to check the current status of NERSC systems, user Message of the Day (MOTD), as well as log into their account to view recently completed, queued and running jobs, on their mobile phones.

The NOVA portalExternal link is an experimental web application that allows licensed VASP users to submit jobs to NERSC systems. VASP (Vienna Ab initio Simulation Package) is a computer program for atomic-scale materials modeling. Based on user feedback with this early system, the team hopes to provide additional features in the future.

In the coming months, NERSC will continue to improve these applications and create more products for the web. For specific comments or suggestions, contact consult@nersc.gov.
For more information on these applications, go hereExternal link.

Outreach and Education

Austin Workshop Looks at Lab-Industry Collaborations
Computational experts and leaders from industry, universities, and national laboratories joined Energy Secretary Steven Chu in March for a two-day exploration of potential collaborations in modeling and simulation. The Industry–National Laboratory Workshop on Modeling and Simulation, held in Austin, Texas, was sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and chemical manufacturer Monsanto and hosted by chip-maker AMD.

Keynote speakers included Secretary Chu, ORNL Director Thom Mason, and Mark Papermaster, AMD’s senior vice president and chief technology officer. A poster session on the first evening included nearly 50 exhibitors. The event was the second meeting of industry leaders and national laboratories focused on strengthening America’s innovation ecosystem through increased collaboration.

Presentations from the modeling and simulation workshop are available to view at https://www.ornl.gov/modeling_simulation/agenda.shtmlExternal link

Washington Symposium Highlights Science Enabled by Hybrid Supercomputing
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) gathered experts in science, engineering, and computing from around the world to discuss research advances that are now possible with extreme-scale hybrid supercomputers. The nearly 100 attendees of the Accelerating Computational Science Symposium 2012, held March 28–30 in Washington, D.C., explored how hybrid supercomputers speed discoveries, such as deeper understanding of phenomena from earthquakes to supernovas, and innovations, such as next-generation catalysts, materials, engines, and reactors. “The symposium was motivated by society’s great need for advances in energy technologies and by the demonstrated achievements and tremendous potential for computational science and engineering,” said Jack Wells, director of science at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), which co-hosted ACSS 2012 with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS). Additional sponsors were Cray Inc., and NVIDIA.

Hybrid supercomputers combine traditional central processing units (CPUs) with high-performance, energy-efficient graphics processing units (GPUs). Delivering dramatic gains in computational performance and power efficiency compared with CPU-only systems, they enable researchers to accelerate a broad range of computationally intensive applications exploring the natural world, from subatomic particles to the vast cosmos, and the engineered world, from turbines to advanced fuels. The hybrid architecture is the foundation of ORNL’s “Titan” supercomputer, which will reach 20 petaflops of performance by the end of this year. Marianne Lavelle of National Geographic covered the symposium and Titan’s potential for accelerating science. Read her story.External link

OLCF Managers Speak at Conference for Women in Research
The Women in Science and Engineering Conference, hosted by the Battelle Memorial Institute, brought women from multiple national laboratories together in Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 28–Mar. 1 to share their research and promote diversity in the workplace. Julia White and Kathlyn Boudwin of Oak Ridge National Laboratory spoke on a panel titled “Project Management: How to See the Forest through the Trees.”

White manages the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program, which allocates time at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories on supercomputers capable of solving a single, large problem in a short amount of time. She saw the conference as a great opportunity for women working in all disciplines to share ideas and experiences. White was also selected to give a talk titled “Program Management as a Career in Science.”

ORNL computational scientists Line Pouchard and Roselyne Tchoua also attended the conference.

ESnet and NERSC Spotlighted at GlobusWORLD, HPC User Forum

The 10th annual GlobusWORLDExternal link conference was held April 10–12 at Argonne National Laboratory under the theme “Move. Store. Collaborate.” In the Resource Provider Spotlights session, presentations included “ESnet, the Science DMZ, and the Role of Globus Online”External link by Brian Tierney and Eli Dart of ESnet, and “Globus @ NERSC”External link by Shreyas Cholia of NERSC. They also participated in a Resource Provider Panel, where they fielded questions about Globus Online enablement and usage, as well as other challenges they face in supporting researchers.

Last modified: 3/18/2013 10:12:25 AM