Science and Technology

Técnico joins European project to create a supercomputing framework, with total funding of €2.6M

SparCity aims to create a supercomputing framework for maximising the performance and energy efficiency of sparse computations.

The main goal of SparCity is to create a supercomputing framework that will provide efficient algorithms and coherent tools specifically designed for maximising the performance and energy efficiency of sparse computations on emerging High Performance Computing systems, while also opening up new usage areas for sparse computations in data analytics and deep learning.

With three years of duration and a total budget of 2.6M€, SparCity is funded by the European High Performance Computing (EuroHPC), created in 2018, with the aim of increasing Europe’s competitiveness in high performance computing.

Making use of sparsity is widely regarded as a vital next step in the development of artificial intelligence, if the rate of progress seen in recent years is to continue, and even accelerate. As usual, Técnico will be part of this process, through its research centre INESC-ID.

SparCity is coordinated by Koç University (Turkey) and involves partnerships with Sabanci Universitesi (Turkey), Simula Research Laboratory (Norway), INESC-ID (Portugal), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (Germany) and Graphcore (Norway).

“When talking about sparse computations, people think of scientific applications, finite element methods, mesh computation, etc.”, says Dr Didem Unat, the coordinator of SparCity at Koç University, in a statement. “However, this project will also open up new usage areas for sparse computation, including data analytics and deep learning”, she adds.

To demonstrate the effectiveness, societal impact, and usability of the framework, SparCity will focus on four challenging areas: computational cardiology, social networks, bioinformatics and autonomous driving.

“SparCity will leverage the efforts on the European low power processing technologies – in particular the European Processor Initiative – and contribute to the realisation of future exascale system architectures”, says Prof. Leonel Sousa, professor at IST Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (DEEC) and coordinator of the INESC-ID team involved in the project,

Professor Aleksandar Ilic (DEEC), Dr Sara Tanqueiro, responsible for SparCity’s communication and dissemination, permanent researchers and senior staff are also part of the INESC-ID team. “Postdocs and PhD students will also be part of the project”, says professor Leonel Sousa.

SparCity’s is structured in 7 work packages (WP). INESC-ID is responsible for WP1 -Inspection: Guiding Optimizations with Performance and Energy Models, and WP7 – Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation.

Professor Leonel Sousa points out “SparCity is a project with enormous potential that involves a high quality consortium, and is led by a young coordinator, Didem Unat, who has recently completed her PhD in the United States of America”SparCity got a maximum score of 15/15 (from the EuroHPC reviewers, which is not common in European projects)”.

“Graphcore is committed to facilitate the transfer of technology related to intelectual property produced during by this project”, shares professor Leonel Sousa.