Note: During the competition Messages, Questions and answers will be discussed using Slack. We will invite the selected teams later on.

We advise at least one team member to joinvia this link

Once you do that, please edit your name to be “My Name (team name/university)” so we will know who this person is. It will be nice to add a photo as well to your slack profile.

General Questions
1. Is it possible to replace team members after submission?
– yes2. Is it possible to have more than 6 people in the group?
– The submission proposal can have more than 6 members, but for the competition only 6 team members can compete.3. Can we get formal invitation letter from the competition, we need it in order to get the VISA to Germany.
– Yes, please email us and we will generate it for you.

4. For the final architecture paper, will we able to install/use the additional software/libraries after submit?
– Yes.

5. Is it acceptable to manipulate hardware’s software configuration after the benchmark runs, so long as the system is not rebooted and nothing is physically changed on the system?
– The servers needs to be powered on all the time. No HW changes are allowed, you can decide not to use specific server in a test.

6. What can I expect regarding students accommodation, meals, etc.?
– We don’t supply accomodation for the students, you will need to work this out your own. Meals may be provided during the competition.
Other info can be found in https://www.isc-hpc.com/travel-stay.html

7. As reading from the website (http://hpcadvisorycouncil.com/events/student-cluster-competition/rules/): Teams might need to prepare an adapter to convert from the TypeF (Schuko) wall power to the C20 socket for the input of the PDU.
Does it mean we need to bring PDU cable from wall plug (type F) to the APC PDU?
– Team booths include (1) power source, (1) APC AP8858 PDU, and (1) Tripp Lite Schuko-to-C19 cable for the PDU. The PDU will be plugged into one of the available receptacle of the power source. Additional Schuko power strips for plugging in equipment (such as laptops, or non-competition systems) will be provided by ISC Events.

8. Apart from physically disconnecting and removing components on a system, or turning them off through the BIOS (both of which are presumably not allowed), one can also conserve energy by using scripts to adjust system component configurations like GPU/CPU clock frequency. Is it acceptable to make this sort of changes (by running scripts) during the competition, after the benchmark runs?
– Tuning is ok. We don’t allow changing the HW or resetting the HW after first submission.

Micro Benchmarks Questions 

1. Can the HPL binary from the HPCC application can be substituted by the NVIDIA optimized binary?
– It’s possible, and may help to the utilized better the GPUs for HPCC. However, we need to understand the exact code changes, to make sure it is valid.

2. We would like to implement an optimization on the HPCG. With the OptimizeProblem() it is possible to allocate memory only at the beginning of the problem, however, it is not possible to do any memory management at the beginning and end of every CG iteration. Are we allowed to modify CG.cpp for this purpose? (algorithm remains the same)
– Yes we allow changes to the code for various reasons. Sometimes if the group has some special hardware (like GPU) and they want to offload the compute intensive routine for their hardware, the team can work on making changes to the code instead of using the reference implementation, as long as their implementation doesn’t change the logic of the application/algorithm. In your case, it seems to be ok.
In any case, you will need to show us the changes of the code so we could review, and supply description of the changes to help us with that.

3. As for HPCC – is there a limit for how much code allowable to be optimised? (We can demonstrate that we didn’t change the algorithm)
– For code change you will need to show us your modifications in HPCC/other codes, we will need to review the changes and evaluate.

4. May I know if all nodes are required to participates in benchmarking? We can have the all nodes connected to power supply, and will not change the hardware configuration after benchmarking.
– For hardware, after submitting the first set of results, that would be the hardware they would need to use throughout the competition. Such that if you use 8 nodes in the first submission (say for LINPACK), they will need to keep using 8 nodes throughout even if you use less, or want to use more/others.

5. What will the organizer provide in ISC Student competition booth? For example Racks, table and chairs?
– We provide booth, table and chairs, power connections, internet connection. We don’t provide server racks.

6. For HPCC, In DGEMM and FFT can we use GPU for computation?
– Yes, it is possible, but you team will need to explain what are the changes so we can review.

7. Would 7 tests of HPCC have equal weight in the score, or will you focus on the result of HPL in HPCC only?
– There are subtests within HPCC. Some, but not all, of the results from the subtests will be used to determine the HPCC score. Each of the scores from those subtests will be weighed equally.

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