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1st Dissemination Workshop

Towards Energy-efficient Scalable Algorithms for weather and climate Prediction at Exascale - Status and Prospects

The EU H2020-funded project ESCAPE-2 will develop world-class, extreme-scale computing capabilities for European operational numerical weather and climate prediction systems. It continues the pioneering work of the ESCAPE project. The project aims to attack all three sources of enhanced computational performance at once, namely 

  1. developing and testing bespoke numerical methods that optimally trade off accuracy, resilience and performance, 
  2. developing generic programming approaches that ensure code portability and performance portability, 
  3. testing performance on HPC platforms offering different processor technologies.

Workshop Result Summary


On 21-22 October, the first of two dissemination workshops sharing the ESCAPE-2 progress with the wider weather, climate and computing community was held at ECMWF in Reading. Over 60 participants joined the meeting from Europe and the United States, including academia as well as industry (hardware vendors).

Day 1 of the workshop was organised along the four main technical work packages. On day 2 this was supplemented by selected presentations from related projects (also EC funded) and working group sessions to discuss results and plan the work for the upcoming months.

One of the main success stories so far is the increasing maturity and visibility of the dwarf concept that allows specific technical developments on code components that represent generic functionalities in weather and climate models and that come with notorious computational bottlenecks. This concept has introduced a flexible and agile code optimisation framework for work on both alternative numerical and algorithmic methodologies, and hardware adaptation and optimisation. The workshop showed how well this worked in the past and that this concept is already being embraced by other groups, in particular hardware developers for testing early version of new technologies.

One of the objectives of ESCAPE-2 is to advance the dwarfs towards so-called High-Performance Climate and Weather (HPCW) benchmarks that deliver a more representative performance estimate of real-life applications on the available architectures. The workshop discussions confirmed the need for such benchmarks, but also exhibited several open questions such as licensing, degree of complexity permitted, and whether advanced concepts like domain-specific languages should be incorporated.

The other main achievement is the progress on domain-specific languages (DSL) whose main components like front-ends, intermediate representations and hardware-specific back-ends are already being tested. The workshop further confirmed the need for this development within the community and that vendors will support its assessment on their platforms. The discussions also raised hope that a full implementation and test at scale could be performed by the time the pre-exascale EuroHPC machines will be made available.

The VVUQ work of ESCAPE-2 has demonstrated the first ingestion of simple weather models in the URANIE framework and will take in models with enhanced complexity up to a full prediction system in the remainder of the project. The workshop discussions concluded that the estimation of sensitive but uncertain parameters is a key asset of the tool, and that this feature will be explored with added focus in the next phase. 

The workshop concluded with statements from vendors (IBM, Intel, NVIDIA) on the project's achievements and progress. All vendors offered strong in-kind support and were very keen to continue the collaboration on dwarf optimisation and the HPCW benchmarks. Once established and publicly available, these benchmarks are likely to create significant impact, both in terms of general HPC infrastructure performance assessments and as the baseline for compiler development and application tuning.

The abstracts and results are available in the workshop proceedings, whilst the presentations can be downloaded below.

Workshop Agenda

The 1st Dissemination Workshop introduced ESCAPE-2 to the community and presented first results, whilst also providing an opportunity for the community to provide feedback and get involved in the developments of the ESCAPE-2 project.

The workshop was organised according to the following topics:

  • Algorithms and Mathematics
  • Programming Models and Domain Specific Languages
  • Weather and Climate Benchmarks
  • Verification, Validation and Uncertainty Quantification
  • Links with other efforts in the community
The workshop agenda was as follows:

 Monday, 21st October 2019
Time Title  Presenter 
13:00 - 13:30 Welcome & Introduction to ESCAPE-2 Peter Bauer (ECMWF) 
13:30 - 14:15 Algorithms & Mathematics Luca Bonaventura (POLIMI)
14:15 - 15:00 Verification Validation Uncertainty Quantification  Adrien Bruneton (CEA) 
15:00 - 15:30 Coffee Break
15:30 - 16:15 Weather and Climate Benchmarks: HPCW Erwan Raffin and David Guibert (BULL)
16:15 - 17:00 Programming Models & Domain-specific Languages Carlos Osuna (MSWISS)
17:00 - 17:30 Reflecting on the goal and baseline of exascale computing: a roadmap based on weather and climate simulations Thomas Schulthess (CSCS) 
17:30 - 18:00 Discussion   
18:00 Adjourn and Drinks Reception 
18:30 Conference Dinner @ ECMWF 
Tuesday, 22nd October 2019
Time Title  Presenter 
09:00 - 09:30 Link to ESiWACE-2 Joachim Biercamp (DKRZ) 
09:30 - 10:00 Link to VECMA Wouter Edeling (CWI)
10:00 - 10:30  PSyclone, LFRic, NEMO and SIR Rupert Ford (STFC) 
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:30 Preparing for Earth System Science objectives in the Exascale Era John Dennis (UCAR)
11:30 - 12:00 Pilot Lab Exascale Earth System Modelling Olaf Stein (FZ Juelich)
12:00 - 12:30 Introduction to Working Groups  Nils Wedi (ECMWF) 
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 16:30 Parallel Working Groups in Meeting Rooms 1,2,3
16:30 - 17:30 Plenary and Conclusion Peter Bauer/ WG Leaders 
17:30 Adjourn


Registration is free of charge, but spaces are limited. 

Workshop Schedule: 21st October 2019 13:00 to 22nd October 2019 17:30

Registration: closed

Workshop Location: ECMWF, Reading, Shinfield Park, RG2 9AX, UK - Lecture Theatre