Blog

EPCC returns to Student Cluster Competition at ISC’17

Author: Emmanouil Farsarakis
Posted: 25 May 2017 | 12:10

The Student Cluster Competition is held three times a year, at Supercomputing, ISC High Performance and the Asia Student Supercomputing Challenge. EPCC has taken part in the past with great success and we're returning to the competition at ISC17 with a strong team of students from our MSc in High Performance Computing, and MSc in High Performance Computing with Data Science.

Balancing act: optimise for scaling or efficiency?

Author: Adrian Jackson
Posted: 24 May 2017 | 19:30

When we parallelise and optimise computational simulation codes we always have choices to make. Choices about the type of parallel model to use (distributed memory, shared memory, PGAS, single sided, etc), whether the algorithm used needs to be changed, what parallel functionality to use (loop parallelisation, blocking or non-blocking communications, collective or point-to-point messages, etc).

Speeding up Python on ARCHER

Author: Nick Johnson
Posted: 21 May 2017 | 16:12

45 minutes is a long time for a computer: 2,700 long seconds. For a supercomputer like ARCHER that's a lot of time to spend getting ready to do work, but this is the problem faced by the firedrake team who we work with as part of the Marine Technology project.

A better class of note

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 19 May 2017 | 08:21

This article covers what I think is a good way of taking notes, keeping track of them, and publishing them so that others can benefit from them or comment on your approach.

We often use notes to track what we have to do or have done. They might be in paper form or electronic text files. They document how we achieved our goal: the helpful URLs that put us on the right track, error and warning messages that were encountered and how they were resolved, etc. However, notes can quickly become intractable with recorded error and/or warning messages and unfathomably long URLs or, worse, they get lost.

ARCHER code developers and presenting performance

Author: Adrian Jackson
Posted: 11 May 2017 | 00:06

Application performance

As part of the ARCHER Knights Landing (KNL) processor testbed, we have produced and collected a set of benchmark reports on the performance of various scientific applications on the system. This has involved the ARCHER CSE team, EPCC's Intel Parallel Computing Center (IPCC) team, and various users of the system all benchmarking and documenting the performance they have experienced. 

Setting up your own Raspberry Pi cluster

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 27 Apr 2017 | 14:53

Wee Archie: a wee bit of history

Wee ARCHIE Blue with Toy Pig Visitor

Some time ago (actually 2015), EPCC built a Raspberry Pi cluster called Wee Archie to demonstrate some of the principles behind a full-sized supercomputer. We designed the cluster to be portable as we can't carry around a real supercomputer and just looking at a laptop "connected" to some remote system isn't that engaging.

Global Challenges Research Fund: Research for Emergency Aftershock Response

Author: Amy Krause
Posted: 24 Apr 2017 | 11:21

Recent devastating earthquakes in Nepal and Italy have illustrated the need for better understanding and more accurate operational forecasting of aftershock sequences to assist emergency response. This project is a multi-disciplinary collaboration to develop risk assessments for earthquake aftershocks using dense networks of traditional seismometers, and to explore the use of mobile phones as sensors and for community engagement. 

Art from supercomputing

Author: Nick Brown
Posted: 21 Apr 2017 | 11:55

Last Thursday marked the opening of the FEAT project (Future Emerging Art and Technology) exhibition in Dundee’s LifeSpace art research gallery. The FEAT project is a pilot that focuses on the synergy between art and science, and how art can bring benefits to the scientific process. EPCC is involved through the INTERTWinE project.

For the past 12 months the artists Špela and Miha have been working with us on a piece related to supercomputing. They have spent time at a number of European supercomputing centres and additional FEAT workshops, such as the one in Vienna last summer that I attended and discussed in a previous blog article.

NESS (Next Generation Sound Synthesis project) bows out

Author: Kostas Kavoussanakis
Posted: 12 Apr 2017 | 16:14

The Next Generation Sound Synthesis project (NESS) has concluded its five-year journey. With true inter-disciplinary focus, genuine user-engagement and over 75 publications overall, the project has been a great success for the University of Edinburgh, and for EPCC in particular.

Apple vs oranges: performance comparisons

Author: Adrian Jackson
Posted: 11 Apr 2017 | 17:59

Shall I compare thee...

Performance comparisons are always tricky to get exactly right. They are needed to ensure that we can demonstrate the performance improvements that optimisations, new hardware, new algorithms, etc... have had on an application or benchmark, but there is a lot of latitude in what can be compared, which makes it easy to get a performance comparison wrong and not properly demonstrate whatever it is you're trying to show.

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