HACC uses modules with algorithms specific to different supercomputing architectures
All the telescopes at scientists’ disposal cannot begin to canvas the distribution of mass across the entire universe through time—an analysis that would help physicists corroborate observational data with their understanding of the fundamental processes that govern how the structure of the universe is formed.
To create a comprehensive sky catalog of the development of the universe, researchers are using the Department of Energy’s most powerful computing systems, including the nation’s top-ranked machine, Titan, to simulate the evolution of the universe as it expands across billions of years.
“Basically what the code does is follow the formation of structure in the universe,” said Salman Habib, project leader and high-energy physicist and computational scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. “And the idea is to get very-high-accuracy simulations of the universe so you can compare them to observations of the sky.”
The team’s code earned the project a finalist nomination for ACM’s Gordon Bell Prize. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in high-performance supercomputing applications, and this year’s winner will be announced at the SC13 supercomputing conference in November. Four of the six finalists ran on Titan.