Calculating global social, economic and ecological developments as well as more efficiency in high-performance computing is the main focus of two “Centres of Excellence“ at the European Union, in which the high-performance computing centre of the University of Stuttgart plays a major role. Both projects started on 1 st October and will each be funded in the course of the research framework programme “ Horizon 2020“ with around four million Euros spread out over three years.
Centre of Excellence Global System Science (CoeGSS)
How does a flu epidemic or other pandemics spread in a certain region and which conditions influence this development in what way? How does the state of health of an entire society change if the overweight people were suddenly to adapt their diets and started going to the gym twice a week? And what happens with the volume of traffic of a country in which ten percent of the people go to work by bicycle and the others use public transport or cars if it rains more frequently due to climate change?
In a world in which the social and economic activities of a society are increasingly interlinked, a variety of interdependent dimensions has to be taken into account in order to research such questions. Associated with this are immense data quantities and in addition the results have to be produced under great time pressure, particularly in crisis situations. In order to be able to implement such analyses and evaluations in future even more quickly and efficiently, the scientists start with freely available anonymised data records on the populations of American federal states in the framework of the Centre of Excellence for Global Systems Science (CoeGSS), that serve as points of entry for a European observation. On the basis of statistical degree of relation, the social environment as well as health features, the scientists establish a global, synthetic society that comprises several million people in one anonymised data record with a data volume of a few gigabytes. This initial volume of data would also initially have to be mastered for a particularly efficient workplace computer. Since the scenarios to be analysed, however, mostly overlap and several influencing factors have to be taken into account at the same time, the data quantity multiples rapidly and quickly reaches a magnitude that can only be mastered through high-performance computing (HPC) and high-performance data analysis. As technical coordinator of the CoeGSS project, HLRS makes its expertise in high-performance computing available as well as the technologies necessary for the implementation of the projects.
Further information at: http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/198335_en.html and project website: http://coegss-project.eu (in English)
Centre of Excellence for Performance Optimisation and Productivity (POP)
Numerous project partners of high-performance computing centres like HLRS from the University of Stuttgart come from other areas of science or industry. These users are indeed experts in their respective fields, however often have insufficient know-how in terms of the specific HPC software and consequently do not exploit the computing time in an optimum way. Against this background the second project in which HLRS is involved, the Centre of Excellence “Performance Optimisation and Productivity“ (POP), pursues the aim of increasing the productivity of computer simulations on HPC systems in all areas of application through efficiency and performance analyses of academic as well as industrial programme codes. Leading European experts in the HPC field thereby support European developers from various subject areas in acquiring a better understanding of the application itself and the related, specific system behaviour. Through this the required computing time for the individual applications can be visibly reduced, leading to lower computing costs, quicker results or developing new fields of application through freed up capacities for the users.
Further information at: http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/198336_en.html and project website: http://www.pop-coe.eu (in English).
The high-performance computing centre Stuttgart (HLRS) at the University of Stuttgart is one of the three federal high-performance computing centres in Germany. HLRS supports German and European researchers as well as industrial users with the latest HPC technology, HPC training courses and support.
Dr. Bastian Koller, High-Performance Computing Centre University of Stuttgart,
Tel. 0711/685-65891, Email: koller (at) hlrs.de
Andrea Mayer-Grenu, University of Stuttgart, Department of University Communication, Tel. 0711/685-82176, Email: andrea.mayer-grenu (at) hkom.uni-stuttgart.de