A team of researchers from Argonne National Laboratory, Northern Illinois University, the University of Chicago, and the Max Planck Institute have won a 2001 Gordon Bell Prize in high-performance computing.
The award was presented in the Special Category, which emphasizes high-quality algorithms and software libraries. The researchers were cited for their work in harnessing the power of multiple, heterogeneous supercomputers to solve challenging problems in physics.
The research team used two Argonne-developed software systems: MPICH-G2, a Grid-enabled implementation of the popular Message Passing Interface standard, and the Globus Toolkit (tm), which provides authentication and staging of simulations across multiple computers. The group also enhanced the Cactus computational toolkit to attain increased bandwidth between machines.
The team ran physics experiments on a virtual supercomputer comprising 512 processors from three SGI Origin2000 machines at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Illinois and a 1024-processor IBM SP2 at the San Diego Supercomputing Center in California.
With the improved Cactus communication layer, the team achieved 1500 CPUs where we achieved 63% utilization on 1500 CPUs and 88% utilization on 1140 CPUs. a dramatic improvement over the original 14% efficiency.
The experiments underscore the potential of linking multiple, heterogeneous computers for large-scale simulations across a computational Grid.
Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago
Northern Illinois University
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
Please see the Web site and click on "Winner Gordon Bell Award."