XSEDE Science Successes
Update Computer Beats Humans
Update: Computer Beats Humans
Jan. 31, 2017
In the "Brains vs. AI" competition at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, a CMU School of Computer Science artificial intelligence program—"AI"—called Libratus beat four of the world's top players at heads-up, no-limit Texas hold'em poker. Libratus ran on a Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) system named Bridges to provide the vast amounts of computing and data needed to achieve this milestone.
Just as a complex application may need a more powerful laptop to run well (or at all), Libratus needed Bridges' massive computational power (19 million core hours of it) to calculate its strategy. Just as importantly, every night after play was over, Libratus ran on Bridges to refine its strategy and adapt to improvements that the humans were making in their own strategies.
The XSEDE-allocated Bridges is a new type of supercomputer, designed in part for users who are experts in their fields but not computer programmers. It was designed by PSC and realized using components acquired through Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), including components from HPE, Intel, and NVIDIA. Bridges, which is funded by a $17.2M award from the National Science Foundation, is available at no charge for open research and by arrangement for other appropriate uses.
In the tournament, Libratus used approximately 600 of Bridges' 752 "regular memory" nodes. These nodes each have 128 gigabytes of RAM, or eight times as much memory as a high-end laptop. But just as a computer can run more than one program, Bridges runs applications that accelerate discovery in many research fields, such as the physical sciences, biology, economics, business and policy, and even the humanities.
From the ground up, PSC designed Bridges to be easy to use by researchers who need the power of high-performance computing (HPC) and "just want to do their work." For example, web applications ("gateways") allow people to solve problems without any programming or HPC expertise, effectively delivering HPC-as-a-Service. Bridges offers the possibility for experts in fields that never before used supercomputers to tackle problems in Big Data and answer questions based on information that no human would live long enough to study by reading it directly.
- Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are applying Bridges to understand the economics of including battery storage in the nation's electricity grid, offering guidance on how to make the grid more efficient and even out energy- and money-wasting periods of peak and low usage.
- University of Pittsburgh physician-scientists and Carnegie Mellon philosophers are employing Bridges to tease apart which factors actually cause cancer, lung disease and brain function, drawing on genomic, imaging, and other Big Data.
- Scientists at Marshall University in West Virginia are using Bridges to assemble and study the DNA sequences of the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros and the Narcissus flycatcher—two species whose evolutionary histories promise hints as to how species respond to environmental changes, and how they can survive such changes.
- Scientists associated with the University of Wisconsin's IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory are using Bridges to simulate the observatory's likely behavior when it detects neutrinos—elusive particles that offer cues to basic laws of physics and the origin of the Universe.
- University of Illinois social scientists are leveraging Bridges' power to search hundreds of thousands of historical documents for clues to the history and life experiences of Black women in the U.S. from the 1700s onward.
Bridges is a "heterogeneous" system: It contains different components that are optimal for performing different types of computation. Thanks to software written at PSC and Intel's new Omni-Path Architecture, scientists can apply different parts of the supercomputer to different portions of their computational problems, allowing productive reuse of existing applications and accelerating results.
- Bridges' computational speed overall is 1.35 Pf/s (Petaflops, or quadrillions of 64-bit floating-point operations per second)—about 7,250 times as fast as a high-end laptop. The system's total memory is 274 TB (or trillions of bytes)—about 17,500 times the RAM in a high-end laptop.
- Bridges' 800 regular memory nodes offer 22,400 computational cores, providing rapid calculations for problems that can be split into small components, such as computing the possibilities inherent in a series of poker hands or the energy use of hundreds of buildings over many time cycles.
- Its 42 large memory nodes provide 3 terabytes of memory (192 times as much memory as a high-end laptop) and up to 80 cores apiece—making assembly of large genome sequences from small DNA fragments possible in hours rather than days.
- Four 12-terabyte extreme memory nodes power the most memory-hungry tasks, including assembling the genomes of plants and assembling the genomic sequences of thousands of microbes at the same time, enabling tasks such as achieving higher crop yields and use of oil-hungry microbes living near well pads for environmental cleanup.
- 48 graphics processing unit (GPU) nodes power Bridges' capacity for "deep learning" in artificial intelligence and accelerate applications in, for example, biology, chemistry, and materials science.
- Bridges emphasizes interactivity and supports an extremely wide range of applications, including, for example, data analytic applications using Python, R, Spark, and Hadoop.
- Bridges supports web-based "gateways" that offer domain-specific computational tools to researchers, allowing them easily and transparently to leverage supercomputing power.
- Bridges offers 10 PB (petabytes, or thousands of terabytes) of persistent data storage, strengthening its support for advanced data management and community data collections.
- A virtual tour of Bridges is available at https://www.psc.edu/index.php/bridges-virtual-tour; the complete technical specification of Bridges is available at https://www.psc.edu/index.php/bridges/user-guide/system-configuration.
Below is the original news story from before the competition began on January 11
- XSEDE Resources, Trinity Enable Non-Human Primate Reference Transcriptome Resource to Support Study of Genes in Our Closest Relatives
- Turtle Tree of Life
- Region 1 Champions meet at Idaho National Laboratory
- Crash test simulations expose real risks
- NSF supports development of new arctic maps
- How was the planet Earth formed?
- Exploring Large Data for Scientific Discovery
- XSEDE Value Added
- Scholars program helps realize dream
- Making sense of cyberinfrastructure
- XSEDE15 Wrap Up
- Bioinformatics Scripts Solutions
- XSEDE15 Plenary Panel
- Polymer Potential
- The Future of NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure
- 2015 International Summer School on HPC Challenges
- A Catalyst for Complexity
- As Austin Grows So Does Its Traffic Woes
- The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Wins Second Place in an International Student Supercomputing Competition
- PSC Receives NSF Award for Bridges Supercomputer
- Innovative New Supercomputers Increase Nation's Computational Capacity and Capability
- Exploring Competitive Balance
- A Direct Bridge
- The Dopamine Transporter
- XSEDE Supercomputers Laid the Foundation for an Unprecedented Simulation of Cosmological Evolution
- Big Data Needs Big Funding
- XSEDE helps create a more effective way to assemble genomic information
- Of Micelles and Machines
- XSEDE Allocation System to Receive Makeover
- Internet2: Advancing Science in the Age of Big Data
- XSEDE User Portal At Your Fingertips: Mobile App
- Researchers Study Air Pollution
- Dan Stanzione: New Executive Director at TACC
- People of XSEDE: Campus Champions - Preaching the HPC Gospel
- XSEDE and Blue Waters Go Supernova
- Two at a Time
- Show Him the Money
- Cosmic Slurp
- Turning Salt into the Unknown
- Looking Inside Images
- Farming the Wind
- Breaking out of the Digital Graveyard
- The Mechanism of Short-term Memory
- Open Science and Industry Collaboration
- XSEDE, Prace Call for Requests of Joint Support
- XSEDE Wins HPCWire Award
- Shields to Maximum, Mr. Scott
- The Ultimate Timekeeper
- Blue Waters, XSEDE sign collaborative agreement
- People of XSEDE - Outreach programs set XSEDE apart
- Wrangler Reels in Award
- The Great Comet: NSF awards $12 Million Grant to SDSC to deploy Comet
- Meet the Gribbles
- 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winners bring HPC to the lab
- XSEDE helps create a more effective way to assemble genomic information
- XSEDE facilitates large-scale image analysis to understand diseases
- XSEDE announces new campus briding services and tools
- XSEDE, NSF Release Cloud Survey Report
- XSEDE13: Programming Competition Allows Students to "Geek Out" and Gain Crucial Skillsets
- Katlin Thaney gave XSEDE13 Keynote: Gateways for Open Science
- XSEDE13 conference selects best papers, posters visualizations and more
- XSEDE13 speaker tells how turbulence simulations help make movie magic
- XSEDE13 Plenary Talk: Accelerating Brain Research with Supercomputers
- Invited speakers announced for Extreme Scaling Workshop - Heterogenous Computing
- XSEDE13 speaker LeManuel "Lee" Bitsóí: Democratizing Scientific Research
Read more about Bitsóí's talk at this year's conference
- More than 70 students from 4 continents gain HPC skills at fourth annual Summer School
- Registration opens for Extreme Scaling Workshop 2013
- Campus Champions Fellows Named
- Campus Champions program reaches 200 members
- Rock Snot Genomics: University of Texas researchers use advanced sequencing and TACC's Ranger supercomputer to uncover origin of common algae
- Experiencing some turbulence: Researchers Take on One of Physics' Most Important and Enduring Problems
- Register now for Virtual School summer courses on data-intensive and many-core computing
- XSEDE seeks a Scientific Workflow Specialist for Extended Collaborative Support Service
Applications are due May 31, 2013
- XSEDE13 schedule now available online
- Students from high school to grad school levels invited to participate in programming contest at XSEDE13 high performance computing conference
- SDSC's Gordon enables discoveries in the study of genetics Read about Gordon's role in pinpointing the genetic patterns underlying autism-spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and similar brain conditions.
- XSEDE, National Computational Science Institute offer summer workshops for educators
- XSEDE13 Student Day applications due May 15 High school and undergraduate students get hands-on experience in computational science and interact with expert researchers
- XSEDE upgrades to Internet2's 100G Network
- XSEDE13 Registration now open!
- Get to know XSEDE Staff XSEDE Allocations Manager Ken Hackworth: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
- Two sponsors commit to XSEDE13 conference: Cray and Intel .
- Texas Unleashes Stampede
- Swirling Secrets-Understanding the turbulence of gases
- Blacklight helps researchers develop better materials for carbon capture
- Journey to the limits of spacetime
- Students invited to participate in XSEDE13 Multiple ways for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students to get involved; funding support available.
- XSEDE Call for Humanities, Arts and Social Science ProjectsIf you and your collaborators need to access to large collections of digital data, need more computer power, or require substantial storage capacity and computing power – please share it with XSEDE.
- XSEDE needs your feedback! If you received an invitation to complete the 2013 User Satisfaction Survey, please take 10 minutes today to share your comments about the XSEDE user experience.
- XSEDE deploys Globus Online for data transfer The first official software service on XSEDE has been accepted for production deployment
- The Stampede Era Begins XSEDE supercomputer now operational and available to the national open science community
- Call for ParticipationInternational Summer School on HPC Challenges in Computational Sciences
- XSEDE, European Grid Infrastructure seek collaborative use cases
Deadline extended to March 8!
- XSEDE offers free online parallel computing course Learn to use parallel computers more efficiently and productively
- NICS makes the top of Green500 list XSEDE partner recognized for energy-conscious high-performance computer, Beacon
- XSEDE's John Towns appointed to Compute Canada board of directors Board includes leaders in industry, academia, and computational research
- STILL ACCEPTING RESPONSES to Cloud Use Survey from XSEDE, NSF All researchers encouraged to respond and help shape future of cloud computing in XSEDE
- Make room for Stampede: TACC expands data center for new supercomputer
Read more about the new data center at TACC
See TACC Deputy Director, Dan Stanzione describe the new center
- SDSC welcomes Gordon supercomputer as a research powerhouse
Read more about SDSC's Gordon
- Campus Bridging Early Adopter Program issues Call For Proposals to be submitted Dec. 1-9
Read more about the program
- XSEDE12 announced -- first conference of Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment
Read more about XSEDE12
- PSC, SGI Team Up on Shared-Memory Supercomputer
Read more about PSC's shared-memory supercomputer
- Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Wins High-Performance Computing Award
Read more about PSC
- Blacklight Goes to Work at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
Read more about Blacklight
- Ranger supercomputer's lifespan extended one year as part of NSF XD initiative.
Read more about Ranger
- Kraken set to deliver 2 billionth CPU hour, sustains 96 percent utilization
Read more about Kraken
- TACC Offers New, Broader Computational Biology Software Stack to Open Science Community.
Read more about biology software stack
- ACM launches new Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing. Join by Nov. 18 for special rate.
Read more about the new SIGHPC
- 'What Are You Working on Today,' Ranger, Jaguar and iForge?
Read more about TACC's Ranger supercomputer
Read more about ORNL's Jaguar supercomputer
Read more about NCSA's iForge supercomputer
- Adventures with HPC Accelerators, GPUs and Intel MIC Coprocessors
Read more about experiences with new hardware
- Developing Scientific Computing Communities
Read more about development efforts
- Indiana University to create the National Center for Genome Analysis Support, which will be integrated with XSEDE resources
Read more about the NCGAS at IU
- Scientists use XSEDE/TeraGrid resources to determine how shock waves move through solids
Read more about 'super-elastic shock waves'
- XSEDE upgrades network
Read more about the XSEDE upgrade
- Richard Tapia, Rice University mathematician and professor and member of XSEDE outreach team, receives National Medal of Science
Watch the Oct. 21 webcast
Read more about Tapia's award
Learn more about Richard Tapia
- Stampede's comprehensive capabilities to bolster U.S. open science computational resources
Read more about Stampede
Watch a video of Jay Boisseau, director of TACC, discussing Stampede
- SDSC announces scalable, high-performance data storage cloud
Read more about SDSC cloud
- Appro and SDSC Gordon supercomputer to provide up to 35M IOPS
Read more about SDSC's Gordon
- Dr. Barry Schneider from the National Science Foundation to describe XSEDE in the Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium keynote, Oct. 11-12
Read more about Dr. Schneider's keynote
Go to symposium site
- Students research solar cells with HPC
Read more about HPC and solar research
- Seeing Is Believing: Extreme Digital visualization and data analysis resources help researchers derive insights from massive data sets
Read more about Extreme Digital
- New "Memory Advantage Program" on Blacklight at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
Read more about PSC's MAP
- XSEDE project brings advanced cyberinfrastructure, digital services, and expertise to nation's scientists and engineers
Read more about XSEDE
- Watch the John Towns video
- How XSEDE will facilitate collaborative science
Read more about XSEDE and collaboration