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Keynote - Thomas Sterling at SAI Conference 2015 - The Paradigm Shift beyond Exascale Computing

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Published on Aug 3, 2015

This video was recorded at SAI Conference 2015 - http://saiconference.com/Computing

Abstract: The struggle to exploit near nano-scale semiconductor technologies to sustain exponential performance gain of the last two decades and more is forcing innovations in architecture, programming models, and supporting system software beyond the scope of conventional techniques even as legacy codes demand continuity. Contention, sometimes severe, between two strategies has forced a schism in the exascale research community: 1) the evolutionary incremental approach seeks to build on conventional practices in support of legacy codes and retained skill sets while address challenges of scalability; 2) the pathfinding strategy breaks with tradition to devise a revolutionary methods of exploiting the opportunities and addressing the myriad challenges of the new technologies driving the promise of computing forward. This Keynote presentation will summarize this period of paradigm shift between evolutionary and pathfinding strategies and provide a detailed description of early research results in pursuit of the latter. Specifically, the experimental ParalleX execution model will be described and justified in terms of the SLOWER performance model and experimental results using the HPX-5 runtime system that implements ParalleX will be presented. This system embodies the principles of global address space, multi-threading, message-driven computation, futures synchronization, and introspective scheduling and resource management. Tentative conclusions concerning the potential of dynamic adaptive runtime methods will be discussed based on results from a number of applications including adaptive mesh refinement and fast multipole methods among others. Questions from the participants are welcome throughout the presentation.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Thomas Sterling holds the position of Professor of Informatics and Computing at the Indiana University (IU) School of Informatics and Computing as well as serves as Chief Scientist and Executive Associate Director of the Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies (CREST). Since receiving his Ph.D from MIT in 1984 as a Hertz Fellow Dr. Sterling has engaged in applied research in fields associated with parallel computing system structures, semantics, and operation in industry, government labs, and academia. Dr. Sterling is best known as the "father of Beowulf" for his pioneering research in commodity/Linux cluster computing. He was awarded the Gordon Bell Prize in 1997 with his collaborators for this work. He was the PI of the HTMT Project sponsored by NSF, DARPA, NSA, and NASA to explore advanced technologies and their implication for high-end system architectures. Other research projects included the DARPA DIVA PIM architecture project with USC-ISI, the Cray Cascade Petaflops architecture project sponsored by the DARPA HPCS Program, and the Gilgamesh high-density computing project at NASA JPL. Thomas Sterling is currently engaged in research associated with the innovative ParalleX execution model for extreme scale computing to establish the foundation principles to guide the co-design for the development of future generation Exascale computing systems by the end of this decade. ParalleX is currently the conceptual centerpiece of the XPRESS project as part of the DOE X-stack program and has been demonstrated in proof-of-concept in the HPX runtime system software. Dr. Sterling is the co-author of six books and holds six patents. He was the recipient of the 2013 Vanguard Award.

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