JARA-HPC: Computer Simulation Using High-Performance Computers

  Researchers in the CAVE, a virtual reality simulation chamber Peter Winandy

Computer simulations have become the third pillar of research next to theory and experiment. They open up new scientific perspectives that for physical-technical or financial reasons have so far been denied. Researchers of nearly all scientific fields can benefit from simulations: from medical sciences to engineering, information technology and material sciences up to environmental and energy research. Many simulations, however, require the enormous processing power of supercomputers.


High-Performance Computing in the Service of Science and Research

Scientists of the section JARA-HPC (High-Performance Computing) unite the specialist know-how of highly parallel computing on supercomputers with the respective special knowledge of physicians, engineers, and other scientific researchers.

In doing so they considerably contribute to making full use of the opportunities computer simulations offer to address current scientific issues. JARA-HPC scientists are part of a unique organizational structure comprising socalled Simulation Laboratories (SimLabs), Cross-Sectional Groups (CSGs) and JADE.

Research into Application

Among other achievements, computer simulations helped researchers of JARA-HPC to improve blood pumps that support the heart of seriously ill patients, and to create a "virtual brain" with which brain scientists can now better investigate and understand interconnections of the real brain.

They have calculated unusual magnetic and electronic properties of materials, leading to the manufacture of novel electronic components or data storage systems on the basis of the knowledge acquired through simulations.

Furthermore, JARA-HPC scientists have developed computer simulations with which the effects of human activities on the biodiversity of meadows and grasslands in the Nationalpark Eifel can be predicted.

World-Class Infrastructure

Researchers of the section HPC have access to supercomputers that internationally excel in performance, in particular via Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC). They are developing application software keeping pace with the constant performance increase of high-performance computers.

Seed Fund

The seed funds for funding promising project not yet capable of receiving external funding proved their importance and value in Institutional Stratey I.

For this reason JARA provided another 750,000 Euros for seed fund projects in Institutional Strategy II. These seed funds could be jointly acquired by scientists at RWTH Aachen and Forschungszentrum Jülich in the spring of 2014.

A total of 23 project proposals with a requested funding volume of 5.1 million Euros were evaluated by external reviewers. Five of the best proposals received funding volume ranging from 125,000 to 250,000 Euros for a duration of 18 to 24 months.

The following Seed Fund projects were funded in JARA-HPC in the ZUK II :
NESTML - A modelling language for spiking neuron and synapse models for NEST
Hybrid parallelism for the Jülich DFT code FLEUR
Interactive Volume Rendering of Massive Data on the Blue Gene Active Storage Architecture
Development of a DEM process model for HPC of vibratory finishing

A method framework for high-performance data mining of Monte Carlo Protein Simulations