ALCF seeking proposals to advance big data problems in big science

Laura Wolf

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The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility Data Science Program (ADSP) is now accepting proposals for projects hoping to gain insight into very large datasets produced by experimental, simulation, or observational methods. The larger the data, in fact, the better.

From April 24 to June 15, ADSP’s open call provides an opportunity for researchers to make transformational advances in data science and software technology through allocations of computer time and supporting resources at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility.

The ADSP, now in its second year, is the first program of its kind in the nation, and targets “big data” science problems that require the scale and performance of leadership computing resources, such as ALCF’s two petascale supercomputers: Mira, an IBM Blue Gene/Q, and Theta, an Intel/Cray system that came online earlier this year.

Data—the raw, voluminous, bits and bytes that pour out of today’s large-scale experiments—are the proverbial haystacks to the science community’s needles. Data analysis is the art (of sorts) of sorting and making sense of the output of supercomputers, telescopes, particle accelerators, and other big instruments of scientific discovery.

ADSP projects will focus on employing leadership-class systems and infrastructure to explore, prove, and improve a wide range of data science techniques. These techniques include uncertainty quantification, statistics, machine learning, deep learning, databases, pattern recognition, image processing, graph analytics, data mining, real-time data analysis, and complex and interactive workflows.

The winning proposals will be awarded time on ALCF resources and will receive support and training from dedicated ALCF staff. Applications undergo a review process to evaluate potential impact, data scale readiness, diversity of science domains and algorithms, and other criteria. This year, there will be an emphasis on identifying projects that can use the architectural features of Theta in particular, as future ADSP projects will eventually transition to Aurora, ALCF’s 200-petaflops Intel/Cray system expected to arrive late next year.

To submit an application or for additional details about the proposal requirements, visit Proposals will be accepted until the call deadline of 5 p.m. CDT on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Awards will be announced in September and commence October 1, 2017.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.