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Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation Parallel Benchmarks Wins Supercomputing’s 2015 Test of Time Award
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Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation Parallel Benchmarks Wins Supercomputing’s 2015 Test of Time Award

The Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation (NAS) Parallel Benchmarks, developed in the early 1990’s by the NAS Program (now NASA Advanced Supercomputing, Code TN), has won the Supercomputing 2015 (SC15) Test of Time Award, http://sc15blog.blogspot.com/2015/05/sc15-selects-numerical-aerodynamic.html.

The SC Test of Time award recognizes SC conference papers greater than 10 years old that have transformed high-performance computing, storage, or networking.

BACKGROUND: During the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a plethora of different parallel computer architectures and programming languages. The state of the art for benchmarking super computers was to hand a program to a vendor, have them compile it, run it, and report accuracy and timing results. Vendors were penalized for any changes made to the benchmarks. This meant that parallel processors with specialized programming languages could not compete with existing supercomputers.

The NAS Parallel Benchmarks broke from traditional benchmarking by defining functional benchmarks that could be scaled. The problem, solution method, and expected numerical results were described in detail in a technical report. Implementing the benchmarks on a particular machine was up to the vendor. To aid vendors, four reference codes were provided for each benchmark: a serial version and three parallel versions representing different machine architectures and programming languages.

Eric Barszcz was a member of the team that developed the NAS Parallel Benchmarks. He is currently a member of the Discovery and Systems Health Tech Area in the Intelligent Systems Division and the only member of the team still at NASA.

Contact: Eric Barszcz

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