6th Call for Proposals for Production Projects

Introduction

The Greek Research and Technology Network (GRNET) announces the fifth (6th) “Call for Proposals for Production Projects” for access to ARIS national high performance computing system (https://hpc.grnet.gr).

In order to allow full and equal access to the ARIS national high performance computing system, GRNET hereby invites scientists and researchers working in Greek educational and/or research institutes to submit a project proposal – which should relate to open research, irrespective of scientific field – for the access and exploitation of ARIS.

The ARIS infrastructure consists of a total of four computing system nodes, based on Intel x86 architecture, interconnected into a single Infiniband FDR14 network offering multiple options and processing architectures. More specifically, the infrastructure consists of:

  • thin nodes island based on the IBM NeXtScale platform and on Intel Xeon E5-2680v2 processors. It has 426 computing nodes and offers a total of 8,520 CPU cores.

  • fat nodes island consisting of 44 Dell PowerEdge R820 servers. Each server offers 4 Intel Xeon E5-4650v2 processors and 512 GB of central memory.

  • GPU accelerator nodes comprised of 44 Dell PowerEdge R730 servers. Each server contains 2 Intel Xeon E5-2660v3 processors, 64 GB of memory and 2 NVidia K40 GPU cards, and

  • Xeon Phi accelerator nodes consisting of 18 Dell PowerEdge R730 servers, each containing 2 Intel Xeon E5-2660v3 processors, 64 GB of memory and 2 Intel Xeon Phi 7120P co-processors.

In addition, the system offers 2 PB storage space through IBM’s General Parallel File System (GPFS). The infrastructure is complete with an IBM TS3500 library of maximum storage capacity of about 6 PB.

Proposal Submission Procedure

All proposals must be submitted electronically. In order for a submitted proposal to be taken into account, applicants must fill in the “Project Access Application form” and submit in attachment a duly completed “Detailed Project Document”, as per relevant instructions contained in the online application form.

The application must be submitted in the English language and the applicant (PI) is responsible for the accuracy of the data provided for in the application.

To facilitate applicants, the electronic application form is also accessible in PDF format, Project Access Application form

For assistance in filling in the application form, please follow the instructions provided for in each field of the aforementioned form and refer to the information available in this call.

Additionally, GRNET HPC services team shall be available to address any queries, via the following email : hpc-access ΑΤ grnet.gr.

Important Dates:

Submissions Start Date: August 20, 2018

Submissions deadline: October 01, 2018, at 18:00 September 24, 2018, at 18:00

Proposals Selection: November 2018 (subject to the availability and response time of the evaluators.)

System Access start date: November 2018

System Access cut-off date: 12 months after the allocation date

Final reporting from the project teams on successful projects: December 2019

Scope and selection criteria of the Call

The present Call for production projects provides access to the powerful, national high performance computing system, ARIS, to researchers working in Greece.

The number of eligible projects shall be subject to the technical and scientific documentation of the proposals and the availability of ARIS resources.

Maximum allocation per project is expected to be up to 5 million core hours. For a higher number of requested core hours a more detailed and specific justification of the proposed project shall be required.

Access will be granted for a period of 12 months, starting from the date of acceptance of the project.

To achieve the aforementioned objectives, the Call sets out the following selection criteria, which must be met by the projects that will be eventually granted access to ARIS and on the basis of which such projects shall be assessed/evaluated.

The evaluation criteria the proposals must fulfill in order to be granted access to available resources are as follows:

  • K1 – Scientific Excellence: The proposed research should relate to top-quality tools and methodologies in line with internationally accepted scientific and technological practice, and have the potential for a significant impact on the research community and / or society.

  • K2 – Need to use: Proposals should demonstrate the need to use the ARIS high performance computing resources.

  • K3 – Adequacy: The maturity and experience of the Principal Investigator and his/her team in using high performance computing systems, which shall ensure the successful completion of the project.

  • K4 – Applicability: The feasibility of the project implementation on ARIS, based on the technical evaluation and the availability of resources.

Eligibility

All scientists and researchers who meet and accept the following prerequisites, at the risk of disqualification, are eligible to submit a proposal hereunder:

  • A researcher working in a Greek academic or research institute must be appointed as the Principal Investigator / PI.

  • Scientists associated with institutions around the world can participate as collaborators in the proposals.

  • They are willing to commit themselves in using the resources to be allocated in the system as well as in reporting on their work on the basis of the proposed time schedules (see below).

  • Acknowledge the use of the GRNET ARIS HPC system in all publications to be made on the results obtained from the use of the allocated resources.

  • Acknowledge and accept GRNET’s right to disclose a summary of the project as well as the technical performance results of the applications obtained through the use of the ARIS HPC system.

Allocation of Core Hours

Under the present Call, a total of 41 million core hours (hours of CPU use) of ARIS shall be allocated. More specifically, each island can allocate the following:

  • A thin nodes island: 30 million core hours

  • A fat nodes island: 7 million core hours

  • A GPU node: 3 million core hours

  • A Intel Xeon Phi node: 1 million core hours

Project proposals, where the majority of tasks require less than 2 thin nodes for execution, shall receive a lower score value for K2 criterion relating to “the need for use” of ARIS high performance resources.

Evaluation process

After the submission deadline, each proposal shall be subject to an evaluation process comprising of 4 stages:

  • Stage A: Completeness check of the responses contained in the application as well as eligibility check according to section 3 hereof.
  • Stage B: Technical Assessment based on criterion K4 (applicability) as specified in section 2 hereof.
  • Stage C: Scientific Assessment in line with criteria: K1, K2, K3 as described in section 2 hereof.
  • Stage D: Ranking, selection of proposals and allocation of resources.

Stages A and B are carried out by the Technical Committee as specified in sections 3 and 2 hereof respectively, Stage C by the Access Committee in cooperation with external evaluators, whereas Stage D by the Access Committee based on the results of the previous stages.

Stage A is intended to ensure the completeness, correctness and understanding of the application by the Technical Committee as well as to examine that the eligibility criteria as specified in section 3 hereof, are met.
Whether clarifications are required, the Technical Committee may address pertinent request via e-mail to the respective Principal Investigator (PI). Replies from PIs must be provided within 3 business days as of the Technical Committee’s request.
Stage B, which refers to the technical evaluation of the proposals, applies only to those proposals that have successfully passed Stage A. Provided that the K4 criterion is met, namely that the project’s technical requirements can be covered by the ARIS system in terms of hardware and software then the proposals are processed on to stage C.
Stage C involves assessment of each proposal by at least one (preferably two) peer evaluator in line with criteria K1, K2 and K3.

The evaluators for each proposal are selected by the Access Committee subject to their expertise and experience in the scientific field of the proposal. The evaluators are selected out of an experts registry maintained by GRNET. Prior to the disclosure of the identity of the researchers participating in the proposal they shall be required to evaluate, the evaluators sign an agreement on conflict of interest management and confidentiality. Only upon their declaration that there is no conflict of interest, shall they receive the full package of the proposal as well as the evaluation form.

The evaluators may request clarifications from the applicants through GRNET. Answers to these queries should be provided within 3 business days.

Evaluators are required to assess the following:

  1. Self-evaluation: What is the level of self-confidence of the evaluator for the assessment of the specific proposal on the grounds of his/ her knowledge. Score on a scale: Low, Medium, High

Should the evaluator declare a “Low” score on the above question, then he/she is automatically disqualified and may not continue to examine the specific proposal.

In any other case, the evaluator shall examine the proposals assigned to him/her by applying the following criteria:

  1. “Scientific excellence” with respect to criterion K1, scores on a scale from 1 to 4: Low (1), Medium (2), High (3), Excellent (4).

  2. “Need to use” in line with criterion K2, scores on a scale from 1 to 4: Low (1), Medium (2), High (3), Excellent (4).

  3. “Adequacy” based on criterion K3, scores on a scale from 1 to 4: Low (1), Medium (2), High (3), Excellent (4).

  4. “Overall quality of the proposal” based on all of the above, scores on a scale from 1 to 4: Low (1), Medium (2), High (3), Excellent (4).

For each criterion, the evaluator may, at his/her discretion, make a comment that will facilitate the work of the Access Committee in the final allocation (Stage D). Moreover, the evaluator should assess the researchers’ resources requirements as outlined in the proposal and indicate:

a)the resources required to fully achieve the objectives of the project; and

b) the minimum resources required for the satisfactory implementation of the project.

In the event that a proposal receives a “Low” score in the “overall quality of the proposal” by either or both of the evaluators, it shall be rejected and shall not proceed to Stage D of the evaluation procedure.

At Stage D, the proposals are ranked by the Access Committee on the basis of the score achieved as a result of the application of the following algorithm:

Β = Sum(i=1..N)( (ΒΚ1_i + ΒΚ2_i + ΒΚ3_i + ΒΚ4_i) / N)

The Access Committee, based on the comments made by the evaluators in relation to the resources required for the objectives of a project to be fully met, establishes the final amount of resources required for each of the proposals.

The Committee proceeds further to the calculation of the amount of core hours requested in aggregate by all the proposals that have been finally ranked. Should this figure not exceed the available resources based on the breakdown indicated in section 5 hereof, all the proposals may become accepted.

In the event that such figure exceeds the available resources, the Access Committee may cut down the resources to be allocated to specific proposals in line with the minimum resources required for the satisfactory implementation of the project, as these are indicated by the evaluators – so as to cover as many proposals as possible.

On the basis of their ranking, proposals shall become accepted to the extent that the amount of the resources required in aggregate does not exceed the total amount of the resources available.

Applicants will be informed on the final evaluation results via email. The PIs of the selected proposals will receive further information regarding their access to ARIS system and the procedure for obtaining user accounts.

Communication

For any queries relevant to the applications, kindly contact: hpc-access ΑΤ grnet.gr

Other open calls

GRNET posts all open calls on its official website:

https://hpc.grnet.gr

About

The procurement, installation and operation of the GRNET HPC system is co-funded by the Operational Program “Attica” and the Operational Program “Digital Convergence”, the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

GRNET

Since 1998, GRNET has been developing and operating the National Research & Technology Network, in line with the respective Research and Educational Networks of the European Union. It provides the Greek research and educational community with state of the art e-infrastructures and services, for the development of Education and Research in the country and the equal participation of its members in the global Society of Knowledge.

The GRNET backbone spans across the entire country, with more than 9,000 km of fiber optics and modern optical equipment. It links more than 150 organizations, including all Universities and Technological Institutes in the country, Research Centers, public hospitals and cultural institutions, as well as and the Pan-Hellenic School Network, and serves about 500,000 demanding users on a daily basis.

GRNET operates the national high performance computing system (HPC) (Tier-1 ) and offers user and application support services , providing Greek scientists with the computing infrastructure and the know-how they need for their research, enabling implementation of large-scale simulations.

GRNET offers innovative Cloud Computing services for fast, easy, and secure access to virtual computing resources. The services are available in the form of a public infrastructure-as service, named “Okeanos”. In addition, GRNET is the first European provider of public cloud computing services across the European research and academic community through a new service called “Okeanos-global”.

GRNET contributes to the digital convergence of Greece with the EU, supporting the development and promotion of the use of electronic infrastructures and services.

Greek Research & Technology Network – Networking Research and Education

www.grnet.gr, hpc.grnet.gr