During the last week of September Appentra ran the hackathon CESGAHACK3 at the Research Centre on Information and Communication Technology (CITIC). The four participating teams spent the week learning, discussing solutions and developing parallel versions of their own scientific software.
This is the third Hackathon organized by Appentra, and sponsored by NVIDIA.
What is the goal of the CESGAHACK hackathon?
In our hackathons, Appentra aims to enable scientists to use parallel computing and High Performance Computing to do more science. Our goal is to decrease the execution time of software, by helping participants to develop and parallelize their code. The week started with covering key concepts in parallel programming and parallel computing technologies, from threaded programming models to how to use accelerators. The week was founded on core principles to help the teams make the most of the limited time they have: identify computational hotspots and how to make the best use of the resources available. In addition, CESGA allows each participant access to the Finis Terrae II supercomputer, providing a platform to test and benchmark their newly parallelised application for both CPU and GPU parallelization.
The participating teams
The teams worked on applications covering a wide range of scientific domains on everything from simulations of biomolecules in space at 10K, to hydrodynamics of mooring lines in the sea to improving safety when driving cars.
The teams came from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) of Madrid, the Polytechnic University of Turin of Italy, Xesol Innovation of Vigo and the Environmental Hydraulics Foundation of Cantabria.
Meet the teams in these video interviews:
Five days of hard work
The hackathon started on Monday 24th September at 9 am. Each morning contained a hands-on session covering a variety of different concepts necessary to progress code from a sequential to parallel implementation. These sessions, led by Appentra mentors team included, how to identify hotspots to make the best use of parallelization, best practices in measuring performance to ensure you make useful changes to your code, parallel programming paradigms and introducing parallelism with OpenMP and OpenACC. The rest of the day was dedicated to parallelizing the team’s codes working with mentors from Appentra, RWTH Aachen University and CESGA.
On Wednesday and co-located with the CESGAHACK; RES, Appentra, CESGA, ITMATI and UDC organized a scientific seminar on Financial Mathematics and Supercomputing. This provided a unique opportunity for the hackathon participants to present their experiences with supercomputing and parallel programming to the attendees of the seminar.
On Friday, the teams presented their successes and challenges, where they started from, what they had achieved, and their future steps.
As is typical with hackathons dedicated to teams working on their own code, each team has their own unique set of future steps. For some teams, the main outcome of the week was understanding the required code refactorizations to enable effective parallelization, while others need to look beyond their current parallelization to new hotspots and to take full advantage of hybrid MPI+OpenMP enabled code.
Due to the heterogeneity of the team codes, each team progressed differently, but the one that has reached the most milestones and therefore was the winner of the 1080ti was… dRPMD team, from CSIC. This was the groups second attendance at CESGAHACK having participated in CESGAHACK 18.
We hope that the prize will be useful for their study of molecules in the Universe!
An enthusiastic and fun Hackathon
We love the environment of Hackathon; everyone wants to improve their applications that will serve to improve some aspect of our society. The participants were so enthusiastic that they even carried on working into the evenings! But we still found time for fun and networking at a dinner in the downtown of A Coruña.
We are delighted to have led such a successful and fulfilling event and we hope to continue helping many more scientists in our next hackathons. We hope they are not far away. Stay tuned through our newsletter or via Twitter!