Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

National Initiatives


PIA ELCI, Environnement Logiciel pour le Calcul Intensif, 2014-2017

Participants : Hélène Coullon, Thierry Gautier, Laurent Lefevre, Christian Perez, Issam Rais, Jérôme Richard.

The ELCI PIA project is coordinated by BULL with several partners: CEA, Inria, SAFRAB, UVSQ.

This project aims to improve the support for numerical simulations and High Performance Computing (HPC) by providing a new generation software stack to control supercomputers, to improve numerical solvers, and pre- and post computing software, as well as programming and execution environment. It also aims to validate the relevance of these developments by demonstrating their capacity to deliver better scalability, resilience, modularity, abstraction, and interaction on some application use-cases. Avalon is involved in WP1 and WP3 ELCI Work Packages through the PhD of Issam Rais and the postdoc of Hélène Coullon. Laurent Lefevre is the Inria representative in the ELCI technical committee.

French National Research Agency Projects (ANR)

ANR INFRA MOEBUS, Multi-objective scheduling for large computing platforms, 4 years, ANR-13-INFR-000, 2013-2016

Participants : Laurent Lefevre, Salem Harrache, Olivier Mornard, Christian Perez, Frédéric Suter.

The ever growing evolution of computing platforms leads to a highly diversified and dynamic landscape. The most significant classes of parallel and distributed systems are supercomputers, grids, clouds and large hierarchical multi-core machines. They are all characterized by an increasing complexity for managing the jobs and the resources. Such complexity stems from the various hardware characteristics and from the applications characteristics. The MOEBUS project focuses on the efficient execution of parallel applications submitted by various users and sharing resources in large-scale high-performance computing environments.

We propose to investigate new functionalities to add at low cost in actual large scale schedulers and programming standards, for a better use of the resources according to various objectives and criteria. We propose to revisit the principles of existing schedulers after studying the main factors impacted by job submissions. Then, we will propose novel efficient algorithms for optimizing the schedule for unconventional objectives like energy consumption and to design provable approximation multi-objective optimization algorithms for some relevant combinations of objectives. An important characteristic of the project is its right balance between theoretical analysis and practical implementation. The most promising ideas will lead to integration in reference systems such as SLURM and OAR as well as new features in programming standards implementations such as MPI or OpenMP.

ANR INFRA SONGS, Simulation Of Next Generation Systems, 4 years, ANR-12-INFRA-11, 2012-2016

Participant : Frédéric Suter.

The last decade has brought tremendous changes to the characteristics of large scale distributed computing platforms. Large grids processing terabytes of information a day and the peer-to-peer technology have become common even though understanding how to efficiently manage such platforms still raises many challenges. As demonstrated by the USS SimGrid project, simulation has proved to be a very effective approach for studying such platforms. Although even more challenging, we think the issues raised by petaflop/exaflop computers and emerging cloud infrastructures can be addressed using similar simulation methodology.

The goal of the SONGS project is to extend the applicability of the SimGrid simulation framework from Grids and Peer-to-Peer systems to Clouds and High Performance Computation systems. Each type of large-scale computing system will be addressed through a set of use cases and lead by researchers recognized as experts in this area.

Any sound study of such systems through simulations relies on the following pillars of simulation methodology: Efficient simulation kernel; Sound and validated models; Simulation analysis tools; Campaign simulation management.

Inria Large Scale Initiative

C2S@Exa, Computer and Computational Sciences at Exascale, 4 years, 2013-2017

Participants : Hélène Coullon, Laurent Lefevre, Christian Perez, Jérôme Richard, Thierry Gautier.

Since January 2013, the team is participating to the C2S@Exa Inria Project Lab (IPL). This national initiative aims at the development of numerical modeling methodologies that fully exploit the processing capabilities of modern massively parallel architectures in the context of a number of selected applications related to important scientific and technological challenges for the quality and the security of life in our society. At the current state of the art in technologies and methodologies, a multidisciplinary approach is required to overcome the challenges raised by the development of highly scalable numerical simulation software that can exploit computing platforms offering several hundreds of thousands of cores. Hence, the main objective of C2S@Exa is the establishment of a continuum of expertise in the computer science and numerical mathematics domains, by gathering researchers from Inria project-teams whose research and development activities are tightly linked to high performance computing issues in these domains. More precisely, this collaborative effort involves computer scientists that are experts of programming models, environments and tools for harnessing massively parallel systems, algorithmists that propose algorithms and contribute to generic libraries and core solvers in order to take benefit from all the parallelism levels with the main goal of optimal scaling on very large numbers of computing entities and, numerical mathematicians that are studying numerical schemes and scalable solvers for systems of partial differential equations in view of the simulation of very large-scale problems.

DISCOVERY, DIstributed and COoperative management of Virtual Environments autonomousLY, 4 years, 2015-2019

Participants : Jad Darrous, Gilles Fedak, Christian Perez.

To accommodate the ever-increasing demand for Utility Computing (UC) resources, while taking into account both energy and economical issues, the current trend consists in building larger and larger Data Centers in a few strategic locations. Although such an approach enables UC providers to cope with the actual demand while continuing to operate UC resources through centralized software system, it is far from delivering sustainable and efficient UC infrastructures for future needs.

The DISCOVERY initiative aims at exploring a new way of operating Utility Computing (UC) resources by leveraging any facilities available through the Internet in order to deliver widely distributed platforms that can better match the geographical dispersal of users as well as the ever increasing demand. Critical to the emergence of such locality-based UC (LUC) platforms is the availability of appropriate operating mechanisms. The main objective of DISCOVERY is to design, implement, demonstrate and promote the LUC Operating System (OS), a unified system in charge of turning a complex, extremely large-scale and widely distributed infrastructure into a collection of abstracted computing resources which is efficient, reliable, secure and at the same time friendly to operate and use.

To achieve this, the consortium is composed of experts in research areas such as large-scale infrastructure management systems, network and P2P algorithms. Moreover two key network operators, namely Orange and RENATER, are involved in the project.

By deploying and using such a LUC Operating System on backbones, our ultimate vision is to make possible to host/operate a large part of the Internet by its internal structure itself: A scalable set of resources delivered by any computing facilities forming the Internet, starting from the larger hubs operated by ISPs, government and academic institutions, to any idle resources that may be provided by end-users.

HAC SPECIS, High-performance Application and Computers, Studying PErformance and Correctness In Simulation, 4 years, 2016-2020

Participants : Laurent Lefevre, Frédéric Suter.

Over the last decades, both hardware and software of modern computers have become increasingly complex. Multi-core architectures comprising several accelerators (GPUs or the Intel Xeon Phi) and interconnected by high-speed networks have become mainstream in HPC. Obtaining the maximum performance of such heterogeneous machines requires to break the traditional uniform programming paradigm. To scale, application developers have to make their code as adaptive as possible and to release synchronizations as much as possible. They also have to resort to sophisticated and dynamic data management, load balancing, and scheduling strategies. This evolution has several consequences:

First, this increasing complexity and the release of synchronizations are even more error-prone than before. The resulting bugs may almost never occur at small scale but systematically occur at large scale and in a non deterministic way, which makes them particularly difficult to identify and eliminate.

Second, the dozen of software stacks and their interactions have become so complex that predicting the performance (in terms of time, resource usage, and energy) of the system as a whole is extremely difficult. Understanding and configuring such systems therefore becomes a key challenge.

These two challenges related to correctness and performance can be answered by gathering the skills from experts of formal verification, performance evaluation and high performance computing. The goal of the HAC SPECIS Inria Project Laboratory is to answer the methodological needs raised by the recent evolution of HPC architectures by allowing application and runtime developers to study such systems both from the correctness and performance point of view.