Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

European Initiatives

FP7 & H2020 Projects

  • Program: FP7 Programme

  • Project acronym: Mont-Blanc

  • Project title: Mont-Blanc: European scalable and power efficient HPC platform based on low-power embedded technology

  • Duration: October 2011 - October 2014

  • Coordinator: Alex Ramirez

  • Other partners: BSC (Barcelone), Bull, ARM (UK), Julich (Germany), Genci, CINECA (Italy), CNRS (LIRMM, LIG)

  • Abstract: There is a continued need for higher compute performance: scientific grand challenges, engineering, geophysics, bioinformatics, etc. However, energy is increasingly becoming one of the most expensive resources and the dominant cost item for running a large supercomputing facility. In fact, the total energy cost of a few years of operation can almost equal the cost of the hardware infrastructure. Energy efficiency is already a primary concern for the design of any computer system and it is unanimously recognized that Exascale systems will be strongly constrained by power.

    The analysis of the performance of HPC systems since 1993 shows exponential improvements at the rate of one order of magnitude every 3 years: One petaflops was achieved in 2008, one exaflops is expected in 2020. Based on a 20 MW power budget, this requires an efficiency of 50 GFLOPS/Watt. However, the current leader in energy efficiency achieves only 1.7n GFLOPS/Watt. Thus, a 30x improvement is required.

    In this project, the partners believe that HPC systems developed from today's energy-efficient solutions used in embedded and mobile devices are the most likely to succeed. As of today, the CPUs of these devices are mostly designed by ARM. However, ARM processors have not been designed for HPC, and ARM chips have never used in HPC systems before, leading to a number of significant challenges.

Mont-Blanc 2
  • Program: FP7 Programme

  • Project acronym: Mont-Blanc 2

  • Project title: Mont-Blanc: European scalable and power efficient HPC platform based on low-power embedded technology

  • Duration: October 2013 - September 2016

  • Coordinator: BSC (Barcelone)

  • Other partners: BULL - Bull SAS (France), STMicroelectronics - (GNB SAS) (France), ARM - (United Kingdom), JUELICH - (Germany), BADW-LRZ - (Germany), USTUTT - (Germany), CINECA - (Italy), CNRS - (France), Inria - (France), CEA - (France), UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL - (United Kingdom), ALLINEA SW LIM - (United Kingdom)

  • Abstract: Energy efficiency is already a primary concern for the design of any computer system and it is unanimously recognized that future Exascale systems will be strongly constrained by their power consumption. This is why the Mont-Blanc project has set itself the following objective: to design a new type of computer architecture capable of setting future global High Performance Computing (HPC) standards that will deliver Exascale performance while using 15 to 30 times less energy. Mont-Blanc 2 contributes to the development of extreme scale energy-efficient platforms, with potential for Exascale computing, addressing the challenges of massive parallelism, heterogeneous computing, and resiliency. Mont-Blanc 2 has great potential to create new market opportunities for successful EU technology, by placing embedded architectures in servers and HPC.

    The Mont-Blanc 2 proposal has 4 objectives:

    1. To complement the effort on the Mont-Blanc system software stack, with emphasis on programmer tools (debugger, performance analysis), system resiliency (from applications to architecture support), and ARM 64-bit support.

    2. To produce a first definition of the Mont-Blanc Exascale architecture, exploring different alternatives for the compute node (from low-power mobile sockets to special-purpose high-end ARM chips), and its implications on the rest of the system.

    3. To track the evolution of ARM-based systems, deploying small cluster systems to test new processors that were not available for the original Mont-Blanc prototype (both mobile processors and ARM server chips).

    4. To provide continued support for the Mont-Blanc consortium, namely operations of the Mont-Blanc prototype, and hands-on support for our application developers

  • Program: The project is a member of Fundamentals of Collective Adaptive Systems (FOCAS), a FET-Proactive Initiative funded by the European Commission under FP7.

  • Project acronym: QUANTICOL

  • Project title: A Quantitative Approach to Management and Design of Collective and Adaptive Behaviours

  • Duration: 04 2013 – 03 2017

  • Coordinator: Jane Hillston (University of Edinburgh, Scotland)

  • Other partners: University of Edinburgh (Scotland); Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie della Informazione (Italy); IMT Lucca (Italy) and University of Southampton (England).

  • Abstract: The main objective of the QUANTICOL project is the development of an innovative formal design framework that provides a specification language for collective adaptive systems (CAS) and a large variety of tool-supported, scalable analysis and verification techniques. These techniques will be based on the original combination of recent breakthroughs in stochastic process algebras and associated verification techniques, and mean field/continuous approximation and control theory. Such a design framework will provide scalable extensive support for the verification of developed models, and also enable and facilitate experimentation and discovery of new design patterns for emergent behaviour and control over spatially distributed CAS.

  • Program: FP7-ICT-318306

  • Project acronym: NEWCOM#

  • Project title: Network of Excellence in Wireless Communications

  • Duration: 11 2012 – 10 2015

  • Coordinator: Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Telecomunicazioni (Italy)

  • Other partners: Aalborg Universitet (AAU). Denmark; Bilkent Üniversitesi (Bilkent). Turkey; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). France; Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC). Spain; Institute of Accelerating Systems and Applications (IASA). Greece; Inesc Inovacao; Instituto de Novas Tecnologias (INOV). Portugal; Poznan University of Technology (PUT). Poland; Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (TECHNION). Israel; Technische Universitaet Dresden (TUD). Germany; University of Cambridge (UCAM). United Kingdom; Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL). Belgium; Oulun Yliopisto (UOULU). Finland

  • Abstract: NEWCOM# is a project funded under the umbrella of the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission (FP7-ICT-318306). NEWCOM# pursues long-term, interdisciplinary research on the most advanced aspects of wireless communications like Finding the Ultimate Limits of Communication Networks, Opportunistic and Cooperative Communications, or Energy- and Bandwidth-Efficient Communications and Networking.

Collaborations in European Programs, except FP7 & H2020

  • Program: European Community and Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology

  • Project acronym: CROWN

  • Project title: Optimal Control of Self Organized Wireless Networks

  • Duration: 2012-2015

  • Coordinator: Tassiulas Leandros

  • Other partners: Thales, University of Thessaly, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens University of Economics and Business

  • Abstract: Wireless networks are rapidly becoming highly complex systems with large numbers of heterogeneous devices interacting with each other, often in a harsh environment. In the absence of central control, network entities need to self-organize to reach an efficient operating state, while operating in a distributed fashion. Depending on whether the operating criteria are individual or global, nodes interact in an autonomic or coordinated way. Despite recent progress in autonomic networks, the fundamental understanding of the operational behaviour of large-scale networks is still lacking. This project will address these emergent network properties, by introducing new tools and concepts from other disciplines.

    We will first analyze how imperfect network state information can be harvested and distributed efficiently through the network using machine learning techniques. We will design flexible methodologies to shape the competition between autonomous nodes for resources, with aim to maintain robust social optimality. Both cooperating and non-cooperating game-theoretic models will be used. We also consider networks with nodes coordinating to achieve a joint task, e.g., global optimization. Using algorithms inspired from statistical physics, we will address two representative paradigms in the context of wireless ad hoc networks, namely connectivity optimization and the localization of a network of primary sources from a sensor network.

    Finally, we will explore delay tolerant networks as a case study of an emerging class of networks that, while sharing most of the characteristics of traditional autonomic or coordinated networks, they present unique challenges, due to the intermittency and constant fluctuations of the connectivity. We will study tradeoffs involving delay, the impact of mobility on information transfer, and the optimal usage of resources by using tools from information theory and stochastic evolution theory.

Collaborations with Major European Organizations

  • University of Athens: Panayotis Mertikopoulos was an invited professor for 3 months.

  • EPFL: Laboratoire pour les communications informatiques et leurs applications 2, Institut de systèmes de communication ISC, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland). We collaborate with Jean-Yves Leboudec (EPFL) and Pierre Pinson (DTU) on electricity markets.

  • University of Antwerp: we collaborate with Benny Van Houdt on caching problems.

  • TU Wien: Research Group Parallel Computing, Technische Universität Wien (Austria). We collaborate with Sascha Hunold on experimental methodology and reproducibility of experiments in HPC.