Tsinghua Team Wins Inaugural Asia-Pacific HPC-AI Competition

The team from China demonstrated a strong grasp of high performance computing for weather forecasting and was able to optimize neural networks for image recognition.

AsianScientist (Aug. 31, 2018) – A group of students from Tsinghua University, China, has won the inaugural Asia-Pacific High Performance Computing (HPC)-Artificial Intelligence (AI) Competition, which was held in Singapore.

The competition, co-organized by the HPC-AI Advisory Council and the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore, saw 18 university teams from seven countries competing to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and image recognition.

The teams were first challenged to achieve the highest simulation speed of the CONUS 2.5 km benchmark using the weather research and forecasting model, a popular weather forecast tool used by weather research institutes around the world. The teams were also required to optimize an AI framework and neural network architecture for image recognition, which is relevant to smart city and security-related initiatives.

To achieve their win, the researchers from Tsinghua University analyzed, evaluated and optimized the performance of multiple nodes (each node consisting of multiple GPUs) over an intense five-month period. Their victory entitles them to participate in the 2019 International HPC-International Supercomputing Conference Student Cluster Competition, to be held in Germany in June 2019.

The second and third prizes were won by researchers from Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University. A special prize—wherein teams submitted a video of their five-month journey and were graded based on the video’s level of creativity—was won by a team from Thammasat University, Thailand.

“The judges were really impressed with the high levels of skill and strategy that participants evidenced throughout the competition period. This made the judging committee’s job that much harder, as each team proved to be an equal match with one another,” said chief judge and chairman of the HPC Advisory Council, Mr. Gilad Shainer.

“Ultimately, what impressed us most was how such a student competition could yield results to improve the lives of ordinary individuals the world over. The competition proved once again that the availability of HPC resources can empower universities, research laboratories and commercial vendors to develop tomorrow’s products and services,” he added.

Professor Tan Tin Wee, chief executive of NSCC Singapore, also highlighted that the winning solutions showed how supercomputing can align research, university work and commercial considerations to drive innovation that benefits all.

“If you think that supercomputing competitions are but an exercise conducted in an ivory tower, offering no practical benefits to mankind—think again,” he said.


Source: National Supercomputing Center Singapore; Photo: Shutterstock.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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