The start of a great week in Barcelona

Landing in Barcelona on Saturday afternoon it was hot, sunny and so Spanish. I was greeted at my hotel with a glass of cava to sip and was treated to a tour of the historic hotel. A short rest, a walk around Barcelona and a little work filled the time until dinner – at 8 p.m.

Tuesday morning, the PRACEdays 2017 kicked off as part of the European summit week. The program started with a welcome from Sergi Girona, EXDCI coordinator, and Serge Bogaerts, managing director of PRACTICE, describing the week of plenaries, keynotes, breakout sessions, BoFs and poster sessions. There will be a lot to see and learn this week in Barcelona!

President of the Board of PRACE, Anwar Osseyran was next with a detailed overview of PRACE’s achievements and the challenges ahead. PRACE is proud to provide open access to the best HPC systems for European scientists. Their criterion: scientific excellence.

Anwar Osseyran at PRACEdays 2017

In PRACE partnerships, there are seven “Tier 0” systems (the best systems available for international use), including the recent addition Piz Daint, currently number eight on the Top500 list. Of the seven world-class systems they have, there are over 60 peak performance petaflops supporting 524 science projects.

Anwar categorized the challenges PRACE sees in adapting and modernizing the HPC infrastructure into four quadrants:

  • European open science cloud: allowing permanent access to data. This is a huge challenge for health care.
  • Strong HPC infrastructures for data processing.
  • Adapt HPC solutions to cloud environments to make them easy and accessible to scientists.
  • How to reach the exascale.

As PRACE considers these challenges, the question of funding arises. How will PRACE finance all their ambitions? If they can’t do it all, what technologies and applications should they focus on? As Anwar says, consider “worldly science against heavenly science.” It’s a question of choice.

On more than one occasion during his presentation, Anwar discussed the concept of collaboration between communities versus the advantages of competition. Anwar suggested that competition between scientists produces better results. I would have thought that collaboration between supercomputing centers would be more of a norm – sharing of resources, of results – all contributing to better science.

As Anwar said in his closing statement, “It’s about balancing Xvideos Red"}” data-sheets-userformat=”{"2":513,"3":{"1":0},"12":0}”>Xvideos Red traditional, disruptive and basic science.

The first speech was given by Minna Palmroth, titled Understanding near-Earth space in six dimensions.

Minna Palmroth at PRACEdays 2017

What I really love about events like this is the opportunity to learn about science, big science issues, and things I never thought about. Minna hit the nail on the head in her presentation on near space issues.

The Earth has radiation belts. Navigation and meteorological satellites navigate the plasma around the Earth, passing through radiation belts. Two types of phenomena affect spacecraft and satellites: a single event (such as a system failure) and the aging of the spacecraft due to the strong radiation they experience in the radiation belts.

The radiation belt situation is already extremely important, but will be even more so in the future as the number of spacecraft increases. The challenge in a nutshell: How to simulate a large and ever-increasing number of spacecraft in the radiation belt requires a dense grid and complex grid calculations in multiple dimensions simultaneously.

Minna is a research professor and head of unit in the physics department at the University of Helsinki, Finland. They solve parallelization at three levels:

  • On nodes of clusters and supercomputers using MPI.
  • On multiple cores within a node using OpenMP.
  • In hearts with vectorization.

Their most recent development supports multiple ions, an optimized implementation of boundary conditions resulting in improved scaling. This gave them the processing power and speed to do the calculations necessary for the near-space problems they identified.

The simulations Minna shared of solar winds and radiation belts as they hit Earth’s atmosphere are fascinating. Solar winds create significant amounts of heat which dissipate and propagate through the Earth’s atmosphere.

The system Vlasiator is a new model of large-scale space physics. The goal is to model all of near-Earth space, going well beyond existing large-scale plasma simulations. This will bring the modeling of current solar winds and radiation belts to the optimization of space weather instruments and spacecraft. Vlasiator has been used to discover phenomena that no one thought existed, and with continuous improvements in modeling such as the addition of machine learning, Vlasiator will be an important tool in understanding space phenomena and methods for protecting craft. space, technological systems or human life in space.

The second speech, Using Big Data methodologies in the chemical industry, was donated by Telli van der Lei.

The information shared by Telli is not surprising; We have long known that modeling supply chains can produce positive results. Either way, this is a topic that cannot be discussed enough, especially in a conference with a strong focus on research and teaching (around 73% of attendees). Talking about the commercial application of the science they are modeling and the improvements it enables is a good thing. It takes science and calculation that was developed in one place, used and improved in another, and demonstrated again in the first place.

Telli van der Lei at PRACEdays 2017

Telli is an academic, now working for industry. She works for DSM as a senior scientist in supply chain and process modeling. Modeling in the industry, Telli professes, can be quite difficult. In her presentation, Telli talks about the industry issues DSM is thinking about, the results they have achieved with their supply chain modeling, and the challenges they envision for the future.

For industry issues, health is number one. I would say that almost every country in the world faces issues of aging populations, health care, and optimal food composition. After health, nutrition, how to feed the growing population and the surge of urbanization creating clusters of humans while reducing agricultural space is a growing problem. Finally, the resource constraints of the materials available to feed the supply chain are a major problem.

Kim McMahon, XAND McMahon

DSM uses computer modeling to simulate the supply chain from raw materials to manufacturing, from warehouse to customer. By using modeling and integrating the process into their supply chain, they have achieved amazing results in terms of order accuracy, supply chain cost reduction, inventory reduction and chain more efficient, flexible and responsive supply chain.

From all of this, they have advanced modeling and analytics that flow from their proven successes. They still see challenges like, from a modeling perspective, how to optimize the input, output and runtime of existing models or incorporate business choices into models? They can use HPC to simulate, but how do you know your results are valuable? As Telli said: “It’s not yay – here we go [with our results], this is how you change your business.

Featured Image By Bernard Gagnon via Creative Commons

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