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Title: 2015 Annual Report - Argonne Leadership Computing Facility


The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility provides supercomputing capabilities to the scientific and engineering community to advance fundamental discovery and understanding in a broad range of disciplines.

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  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Collins, James R., Papka, Michael E., Cerny, Beth A., and Coffey, Richard M. 2015 Annual Report - Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.2172/1250464.
Collins, James R., Papka, Michael E., Cerny, Beth A., & Coffey, Richard M. 2015 Annual Report - Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. United States. doi:10.2172/1250464.
Collins, James R., Papka, Michael E., Cerny, Beth A., and Coffey, Richard M. 2015. "2015 Annual Report - Argonne Leadership Computing Facility". United States. doi:10.2172/1250464.
title = {2015 Annual Report - Argonne Leadership Computing Facility},
author = {Collins, James R. and Papka, Michael E. and Cerny, Beth A. and Coffey, Richard M.},
abstractNote = {The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility provides supercomputing capabilities to the scientific and engineering community to advance fundamental discovery and understanding in a broad range of disciplines.},
doi = {10.2172/1250464},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 1

Technical Report:

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  • Researchers found more ways than ever to conduct transformative science at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) in 2010. Both familiar initiatives and innovative new programs at the ALCF are now serving a growing, global user community with a wide range of computing needs. The Department of Energy's (DOE) INCITE Program remained vital in providing scientists with major allocations of leadership-class computing resources at the ALCF. For calendar year 2011, 35 projects were awarded 732 million supercomputer processor-hours for computationally intensive, large-scale research projects with the potential to significantly advance key areas in science and engineering. Argonne also continued tomore » provide Director's Discretionary allocations - 'start up' awards - for potential future INCITE projects. And DOE's new ASCR Leadership Computing (ALCC) Program allocated resources to 10 ALCF projects, with an emphasis on high-risk, high-payoff simulations directly related to the Department's energy mission, national emergencies, or for broadening the research community capable of using leadership computing resources. While delivering more science today, we've also been laying a solid foundation for high performance computing in the future. After a successful DOE Lehman review, a contract was signed to deliver Mira, the next-generation Blue Gene/Q system, to the ALCF in 2012. The ALCF is working with the 16 projects that were selected for the Early Science Program (ESP) to enable them to be productive as soon as Mira is operational. Preproduction access to Mira will enable ESP projects to adapt their codes to its architecture and collaborate with ALCF staff in shaking down the new system. We expect the 10-petaflops system to stoke economic growth and improve U.S. competitiveness in key areas such as advancing clean energy and addressing global climate change. Ultimately, we envision Mira as a stepping-stone to exascale-class computers that will be faster than petascale-class computers by a factor of a thousand. Pete Beckman, who served as the ALCF's Director for the past few years, has been named director of the newly created Exascale Technology and Computing Institute (ETCi). The institute will focus on developing exascale computing to extend scientific discovery and solve critical science and engineering problems. Just as Pete's leadership propelled the ALCF to great success, we know that that ETCi will benefit immensely from his expertise and experience. Without question, the future of supercomputing is certainly in good hands. I would like to thank Pete for all his effort over the past two years, during which he oversaw the establishing of ALCF2, the deployment of the Magellan project, increases in utilization, availability, and number of projects using ALCF1. He managed the rapid growth of ALCF staff and made the facility what it is today. All the staff and users are better for Pete's efforts.« less
  • The ALCF's Early Science Program aims to prepare key applications for the architecture and scale of Mira and to solidify libraries and infrastructure that will pave the way for other future production applications. Two billion core-hours have been allocated to 16 Early Science projects on Mira. The projects, in addition to promising delivery of exciting new science, are all based on state-of-the-art, petascale, parallel applications. The project teams, in collaboration with ALCF staff and IBM, have undertaken intensive efforts to adapt their software to take advantage of Mira's Blue Gene/Q architecture, which, in a number of ways, is a precursormore » to future high-performance-computing architecture. The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) enables transformative science that solves some of the most difficult challenges in biology, chemistry, energy, climate, materials, physics, and other scientific realms. Users partnering with ALCF staff have reached research milestones previously unattainable, due to the ALCF's world-class supercomputing resources and expertise in computation science. In 2011, the ALCF's commitment to providing outstanding science and leadership-class resources was honored with several prestigious awards. Research on multiscale brain blood flow simulations was named a Gordon Bell Prize finalist. Intrepid, the ALCF's BG/P system, ranked No. 1 on the Graph 500 list for the second consecutive year. The next-generation BG/Q prototype again topped the Green500 list. Skilled experts at the ALCF enable researchers to conduct breakthrough science on the Blue Gene system in key ways. The Catalyst Team matches project PIs with experienced computational scientists to maximize and accelerate research in their specific scientific domains. The Performance Engineering Team facilitates the effective use of applications on the Blue Gene system by assessing and improving the algorithms used by applications and the techniques used to implement those algorithms. The Data Analytics and Visualization Team lends expertise in tools and methods for high-performance, post-processing of large datasets, interactive data exploration, batch visualization, and production visualization. The Operations Team ensures that system hardware and software work reliably and optimally; system tools are matched to the unique system architectures and scale of ALCF resources; the entire system software stack works smoothly together; and I/O performance issues, bug fixes, and requests for system software are addressed. The User Services and Outreach Team offers frontline services and support to existing and potential ALCF users. The team also provides marketing and outreach to users, DOE, and the broader community.« less
  • The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility provides supercomputing capabilities to the scientific and engineering community to advance fundamental discovery and understanding in a broad range of disciplines.
  • The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) helps researchers solve some of the world’s largest and most complex problems, while also advancing the nation’s efforts to develop future exascale computing systems. This report presents some of the ALCF’s notable achievements in key strategic areas over the past year.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL’s) Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) continues to surpass its operational target goals: supporting users; delivering fast, reliable systems; creating innovative solutions for high-performance computing (HPC) needs; and managing risks, safety, and security aspects associated with operating one of the most powerful computers in the world. The results can be seen in the cutting-edge science delivered by users and the praise from the research community. Calendar year (CY) 2015 was filled with outstanding operational results and accomplishments: a very high rating from users on overall satisfaction that ties the highest-ever mark set in CY 2014; the greatestmore » number of core-hours delivered to research projects; the largest percentage of capability usage since the OLCF began tracking the metric in 2009; and success in delivering on the allocation of 60, 30, and 10% of core hours offered for the INCITE (Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment), ALCC (Advanced Scientific Computing Research Leadership Computing Challenge), and Director’s Discretionary programs, respectively. These accomplishments, coupled with the extremely high utilization rate, represent the fulfillment of the promise of Titan: maximum use by maximum-size simulations. The impact of all of these successes and more is reflected in the accomplishments of OLCF users, with publications this year in notable journals Nature, Nature Materials, Nature Chemistry, Nature Physics, Nature Climate Change, ACS Nano, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Physical Review Letters, as well as many others. The achievements included in the 2015 OLCF Operational Assessment Report reflect first-ever or largest simulations in their communities; for example Titan enabled engineers in Los Angeles and the surrounding region to design and begin building improved critical infrastructure by enabling the highest-resolution Cybershake map for Southern California to date. The Titan system provides the largest extant heterogeneous architecture for computing and computational science. Usage is high, delivering on the promise of a system well-suited for capability simulations for science. This success is due in part to innovations in tracking and reporting the activity on the compute nodes, and using this information to further enable and optimize applications, extending and balancing workload across the entire node. The OLCF continues to invest in innovative processes, tools, and resources necessary to meet continuing user demand. The facility’s leadership in data analysis and workflows was featured at the Department of Energy (DOE) booth at SC15, for the second year in a row, highlighting work with researchers from the National Library of Medicine coupled with unique computational and data resources serving experimental and observational data across facilities. Effective operations of the OLCF play a key role in the scientific missions and accomplishments of its users. Building on the exemplary year of 2014, as shown by the 2014 Operational Assessment Report (OAR) review committee response in Appendix A, this OAR delineates the policies, procedures, and innovations implemented by the OLCF to continue delivering a multi-petaflop resource for cutting-edge research. This report covers CY 2015, which, unless otherwise specified, denotes January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.« less