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Please watch this page for updates. To submit questions about the ISC'14 Student Cluster Competition, please fill out the web form at the bottom of this page.

Last updated: December 18, 2014

Click here for trip logistics.


Q1. Will we be allowed to use hardware or software that has not yet been publicly or commercially released?

You are free to use any kind of hardware or software, as long as the hardware is within the given power budget – you are not allowed to generate power in any way or form on top of the given power budget.

Q2. Regarding logistics in Germany, is there bus or train service between hotels and conference center?

There are information about traveling to the convention center (CCL) on this web page. According to the ISC Travel page, this year the ISC registration fee includes travel within Leipzig (zone 110), so, please wear your badge when alighting any public transportation from June 22 until June 26. For detailed tram schedules and information can be found at:

Q3. How do I start the process of arranging visas for the team members but to do this I need invitation letters from ISC.

To get the letters from the organizer for visa purposes, you will need to be registered to the ISC conference. The codes for the registration vouchers is available (as of April 21, 2014) for the team. Please contact HPCAC directly if your team does not already received an email from the U.S.

Q4. How do I find out the booth location for our team?

You can find out the location from the ISC Events page which has a floor plan available there. Please note that for booths 281-284, there are 2 sides of the booth that are opened in case there are materials needed to be hang up on the wall.

Q5. According to the website Saturday, Sunday and a part of Monday are reserved for setting everything up. We were planning to arrive on Sunday early afternoon because we think that will be enough time for the setup. Is this okay or are there any activities plan?

I think it is fine to arrive on Sunday to setup. Typically I see many teams and equipment arrived Sunday. The actual event will start at 3PM on Monday so any time before the actual event to get settled would be good. We usually advise teams to allocate some time especially when they arrive from other places in the world, especially when the equipment needs to go through the customs, as well as account for time due to the time zone differences.

Q6. Are there any demo test cases provided about the three known application?

We don’t provide input test cases but you should be able to find other input data in the public domain to test those applications, usually comes with the corresponding applications.

Q7. When do we find out about the unknown application(s)?

The teams will find out about the mystery app on the day of the competition.

Q8. I noticed that we need to submit the configuration of hardware before 30th Apr. Can we do some modification after that (e.g., add or remove one or two nodes)?

Adding a node or 2 is fine for now. We will verify again the exact configuration that is used on day 1 of the competition. The configuration that is used to compete on first day will be the configuration throughout for the applications, unless otherwise is mentioned by the SCC officials.

Q9. We are planning to send you some slides about our cluster configuration, team and sponsors. Is there some kind of deadline for this?

As a draft, I would want the slides a week before the competition at latest. For the teams I don't get their slides, I'll try my best to make them. I expect to made changes and to play the PowerPoint slides throughout the competition so I don't see it as a hard deadline, but rather something constantly updated throughout the competition.

Q10. For the shipment, we'd like to know if there is any official assigned company of this conference to undertake it.

Schenker is the official logistic company that is responsible for shipping needs for ISC’14. You can get the shipping details from the URLs below. Please note that the deadline for notification of shipments to Schenker is May 15, 2014.

Q11. Can you please clarify which version of OpenFOAM we are expected to use?

OpenFOAM version that have tested is the latest OpenFOAM 2.3.0. Please also be prepared to build with the Paraview/paraFoam support for post processing, as a part of the result submissions.

Q12. OpenFOAM application has many solvers that it supports. Could you please provide some information regarding which solver we are expected to have?

The actual benchmark cases and solver for OpenFOAM to be used will be determined once the final verification has been done. Since the verifications have not been finalized, therefore we do not plan on making actual solver or input data public until the verifications have completed, or when the actual competition begins. However, teams are encouraged to familiar themselves with any public dataset available.

Q13. Is there a place students should check frequently before the competition to receive important updates regarding applications, datasets, etc.?

We will post latest updates, Q&A to the ISC SCC FAQ page. For many of the questions that are being submitted by the teams, we posted them on the FAQ page and will do so on a continual basis, so all of the teams can be benefited by the information. You can always use the web form at the bottom of the FAQ page to post questions.

Q14. How will we be judged on each application?

For the application runs which accounts for the 80% of the overall score, there will be 3 known applications and 1 or more mystery application(s). The scores for the applications will be equally weighed. Within each application, there will be 1 or more input data to be processed. The score for each input data will be determined based on the relative performance to the runtime achieved by the best team. The metric to report sometimes is based on actual runtime for processing the input data, other time is based on the metric provided by the application (e.g. TFLOPs, ns/day, etc).

Q15. Which version of Quantum ESPRESSO is expected to be used?

A “special SCC edition” of the Quantum ESPRESSO will be given and used for the competition. This edition will have 99.9% based on QE 5.1 and it will include QE-GPU as well. The SCC edition of Quantum ESPRESSO can be downloaded here.

Q16. I wonder if there would be other ways like ssh or telnet to connect to PDU in order to fetch Power imformation apart from web?

Besides the web display that shows the power draw by all the teams, the team can check the power usage on the LED display on the PDU. It is optional for the team to use snmpget command (with the public community string) to retrieve the power draw from the PDU. (snmpget -v1 -c public XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX . -Ov ). Please limit to only 1 or 2 connections to your team’s PDU, as too many traffic on the network would cause the power recording to slow down by the official monitoring station. Please do not attempt to use SSH and telnet connections to fetch the power information from the PDU as the access for them have been blocked by the teams.

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