In the early morning of November 20th, the results of the 2020 Student Cluster Competition (SC20) finals were announced. The team formed by students from the Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, won the overall championship and achieved the highest LINPACK benchmark at the same time, thereby taking a double victory. It was the third consecutive championship won by Tsinghua University in the SC competition.
Due to COVID-19, the competition had shifted to a virtual competition. Teams had to choose their own cloud configuration to build a cluster system, while using the cloud computing platform provided by the organizing committee.
According to the new rule, the cloud computing budget had a limit of $3,700. Competition tasks included benchmarks of Linear Software Packge (LINPACK), High Performance Conjugate Gradient (HPCG) and High-Performance Input/Output (IO500), and applications of Community Earth System Model (CESM), molecular dynamics application (GROMACS), reproducing experiments from an SC19 research paper "MemXCT: memory-centric X-ray CT reconstruction with massive parallelization", and a mystery application given at the start of the competition "miniVite: a distributed-memory graph community detection and clustering mini-application".
A total of 19 teams around the globe participated in this final. The team representing Tsinghua in this competition is composed of six undergraduates from the Department of Computer Science and Technology, including Chen ZHANG, Jiajie CHEN, Yutian WANG, Runxin ZHONG, Zeyu SONG, and Mingshu ZHAI. The advisors were three faculties in the Department of Computer Science and Technology, including Associate Professor Jidong ZHAI, Assistant Research Fellow Wentao HAN, and Assistant Research Fellow Lin GAN.
The team overcomes various difficulties such as the lack of team morale, time differences due to the virtual competition, fatigue from 72 hours of continuous battle, changes in the rules, and various technical problems and difficulties during the competition.
Finally, with their comprehensive ability, improvisatory skill and resource management, they won the championship. In these benchmark tasks, the team achieved a score of 143.74 in the IO500 by using MadFS, a software package self-developed by the Institute of High Performance Computing in the Department of Computer Science and Technology, which was five times more than the second place. Tsinghua ranked first with an absolute advantage.
The International Conference for High Performance Computing (SC) is a top-level conference in the international supercomputing field. As a part of the conference, the SC competition has been an important student event in the field of supercomputing. It is held once a year and has attracted many university students from all countries and regions around the world. The International College Student Cluster Competition (SC), the World College Student Supercomputer Competition (ASC), and the International Supercomputer Competition (ISC) are ranked as the world's three most authoritative international college student cluster competitions.