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The Galactos Project: Using HPC To Run One of Cosmology’s Hardest Challenges

Debbie Bard from NERSC

In this video from the HPC User Forum in Tucson, Deborah Bard from NERSC presents: The Galactos Project: Using HPC To Run One of Cosmology’s Hardest Challenges.

“The nature of dark energy and the complete theory of gravity are two central questions currently facing cosmology. A vital tool for addressing them is the 3-point correlation function (3PCF), which probes deviations from a spatially random distribution of galaxies. However, the 3PCF’s formidable computational expense has prevented its application to astronomical surveys comprising millions to billions of galaxies. We present Galactos, a high performance implementation of a novel, O(N2 ) algorithm that uses a load-balanced k-d tree and spherical harmonic expansions to compute the anisotropic 3PCF. Our implementation is optimized for the Intel Xeon Phi architecture, exploiting SIMD parallelism, instruction and thread concurrency, and signicant L1 and L2 cache reuse, reaching 39% of peak performance on a single node. Galactos scales to the full Cori system, achieving 9.8 PF (peak) and 5.06 PF (sustained) across 9636 nodes, making the 3PCF easily computable for all galaxies in the observable universe.”

Debbie Bard is acting group lead for the Data Science Engagement Group at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley National Lab. A native of the UK, her career spans research in particle physics, cosmology and computing on both sides of the Atlantic. She obtained her Ph.D. at Edinburgh University, and worked at Imperial College London and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory before joining the Data and Analytics group at NERSC, where she focuses on data-intensive computing and research.

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