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Cray, DOE partner with Australian university building debuggers for large scale

Researchers at Australia’s Monash University have attracted the interest of both the Department of Energy and Cray here in the US for new debugger technology that aims to make it easier to spot errors in codes running on very large numbers of processors.

“While traditional debuggers work by comparing program variables with user expectations, our ‘relative’ debugging operates by comparing data in one program with data in another that is known to be correct. So it works by detecting where the codes differ rather than from the principle of how the code should be,” Professor Abramson said.

“The debugging software which we have developed – and which is a commercial application of research we have been conducting for several years – efficiently weeds out glitches in supercomputers through a process that could be described as the technical equivalent of a ‘spot the difference’ puzzle.”

Abramson’s team is getting funding from the DOE, and Cray is evaluating how to move the technology to market

The research team, led by the Lab’s Director, Professor David Abramson, recently received funding support from the United States Department of Energy, an agency leading an international supercomputer R&D consortium that includes IBM, and has a commercialisation agreement with supercomputer manufacturing giant Cray.

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