HPC for urgent decision-making

Author: Nick Brown
Posted: 5 Jul 2019 | 11:13

The EU VESTEC research project is focused on the use of HPC for urgent decision-making and the project team will be running a workshop at SC’19.

VESTEC will build a flexible toolchain to combine multiple data sources, efficiently extract essential features, enable flexible scheduling and interactive supercomputing, and realise 3D visualisation environments for interactive explorations.

EPCC is responsible for the project’s work package on supercomputing, which involves partners from across the EU, and this means we are responsible for the overarching system infrastructure. We have been very busy since the project launched in September 2018, from designing the system itself to a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session on HPC for urgent decision making that was held at the Supercomputing (SC) conference last year around.

It is the second of these, the BoF at SC18, that I want to talk about here. This was the first time a session focused on HPC for urgent decision making had been held at SC, and I was happy that we attracted between 60 and 70 people – especially as we were competing against lunch! More importantly, our interaction with the audience was really fruitful and I was surprised to see how many people are involved, to some degree, in using HPC for urgent decision making.

Using the contacts we made at SC18, we have planned another half-day workshop on the use of HPC for urgent decision making at this year’s Supercomputing in November. The involvement of organisers from the US and another EU project means the scope of this year’s workshop goes beyond the VESTEC project and we aim to target the global HPC community. I am really excited about this because it will be a fantastic opportunity to further develop the community and learn in more detail what other people are doing in this space.

The way we have defined it, HPC for urgent decision making covers a wide range of technical topics, from the ingestion of real-time sensor data, to interaction with HPC simulations, to visualisation techniques that enable decision makers to make the correct decision first time, every time. This variety is one reason why the subject is so interesting and we hope its many different aspects will be discussed at the workshop. We will publish papers, most likely in IEEE, and the current plan for this half-day workshop is to have a mixture of full and Hot Topic paper presentations, along with a keynote talk and panel session.

See the workshop website for the latest details: www.urgenthpc.com

VESTEC is a Future and Emerging Technologies project, and is part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.

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