Early Application Experiences on Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

By Ganesan Narayanasamy, senior technical computing solution and client care manager, IBM

We recently held the 3rd OpenPOWER Academic Discussion Group Workshop at the Nimbix headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Having taken place just before SC18, this event allowed members of the Academia Discussion Group and other developers using OpenPOWER platforms to exchange results and enhance their technical knowledge and skills.

One of the most interesting sessions was led by Dr. Wayne Joubert, computational scientist in the Scientific Computing Group at the National Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Dr. Joubert shared insight into early application experiences on Summit, the most powerful supercomputer in the world.

A number of teams have already started working on Summit in a variety of fields for various applications:

  • Center for Accelerated Application Readiness (CAAR) this group at ORNL is responsible for bringing applications forward to get them ready for next generation systems. So far, 13 CAAR teams have been involved from domains including astrophysics, chemistry, engineering and more. These were the first teams to get access to the first 1,080 Summit nodes (at present, 4,608 nodes are available).
  • Summit Early Science Program – ORNL received 65 letters of intent and 47 full proposals for its Summit Early Science Program. Notably, about 20 percent of these included a machine learning component – a remarkable increase in interest for deep learning applications.
  • ACM Gordon Bell Prize – The Gordon Bell Prize is awarded each year to recognize outstanding achievement in high-performance computing. Five finalist teams used Summit this year including both winning teams – “Attacking the Opioid Epidemic: Determining the Epistatic and Pleiotropic Genetic Architectures for Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction” and “Exascale Deep Learning for Climate Analytics.”

Overall, Dr. Joubert shared that, “Summit is a very, very powerful system. Users are already using it effective and we’re really excited about it.”

View Dr. Joubert’s full session video and slides below.