Christopher Mims writes that the new Graph500 test is a more thoughtful benchmark than the trusty LINPACK used by the TOP500 folks. The Graph500 test measures a supercomputer’s ability to chew through “graph” data.
Graph data turns out to be the lingua franca of countless areas, from biomedicine (drug discovery, protein interactions, gene networks, public health) to homeland security, fraud detection, and the social graphs that represent users on networks like Facebook. All these fields, and countless others, could benefit from faster parsing of graphs. The first-ever Graph500 list was unveiled in November, at Supercomputing 2010 in New Orleans. The list is so new that results from only 9 systems were submitted, with the Department of Energy’s IBM BlueGene/P powered Intrepid system, using 8192 of its 40960 nodes, coming out on top.
Update: Jeff Squyres from Cisco has written an interesting post on the Graph500 that is well-worth a read.