About the GPU COE at Universidade Federal Fluminense
The Computer Science Institute of Universidade Federal Fluminense is considered one of the top Brazilian Computer Science Research Centers. Besides many academic national and international collaborations, different companies support and funds projects at the Institute. Among them are Petrobras (Brazilian Oil and Gas company), the National Space Agency and the Brazilian Navy. Together with the Space Agency, UFF is building a large GPU based Grid, with a unique middleware for unifying GPU clusters distributed in the country.
In 2010 the Institute became a GPU Research Center and in beginning of 2012 became a GPU Education Center. Finally, in July 2012 UFF became a GPU Center of Excellence. Since then, UFF is a reference in projects and teaching related to GPU and CUDA.
Some of the most important projects are:
- Colatus: Recently alternative approaches in cosmology seek to explain the nature of dark matter as a direct result of the non-linear spacetime curvature due to different types of deformation potentials. In this context, a key test for this hypothesis is to examine the effects of deformation on the evolution of large scales structures. An important requirement for the fine analysis of this pure gravitational signature (without dark matter elements) is to characterize the position of a galaxy during its trajectory to the gravitational collapse of super clusters at low redshifts. In this context, each element in a gravitational N-body simulation behaves as a tracer of collapse governed by the process known as chaotic advection (or lagrangian turbulence). In order to develop a detailed study of this new approach we develop the COsmic LAgrangian TUrbulence Simulator (COLATUS) to perform gravitational N-body simulations based on recent GPUs.
- A GPU-based Architecture for Parallel Image-aware Version Control: Version control is considered a vital component for supporting professional software development. While it has been widely used for textual artifacts, such as source code or documentation, small attention was given for binary artifacts. This fact can impose huge restrictions for projects in the game and media industry, since they use large amount of binary data, such as images, videos, graphics, 3D models, and animations, together with source code. For these kinds of artifacts, existing strategies, such as storing the file as a whole for each commit or performing conventional binary delta, consume significant storage space with duplicate data, and even worse, lose vital semantic information. As a response to this problem, this project introduces an infrastructure to support version control of image artifacts using its own and specific data structure and architecture. Due the amount of data that must be processed, our proposal is completely based in GPU architecture, allowing a massively parallel approach for version control. The proposed architecture provides speedup over 55× if compared to the same implementation in CPU, at the same time requiring less storage disk space than other existing methods.
- Acoustic Wave propagation with Semi-Infinite Domains Using Finite Difference Methods for Oil Exploration: The scattering of acoustic waves has been of practical interest for the petroleum industry, mainly in the determination of new oil deposits. A family of computational models that represent this phenomenon is based on ﬁnite difference methods. The simulation of these phenomena demands a high computational cost and large amounts of available memory. In this project we employ GPU based cluster environment for the development of scalable solvers for a 3D wave propagation problem with ﬁnite difference methods. Together with Petrobras, a dedicated GPU cluster is being built.
About the PI
Esteban Clua is graduated in Computer Science at Universidade de São Paulo and has master's and PhD degree in Computer Science by PUC-Rio. Has experience in Computer Science and has being acting in the following subjects: game engine architectures, 3D games, education with games, real time computer graphics and digital entertainment. Today Esteban is associated professor at the computer science of Universidade Federal Fluminense, in Rio de Janeiro, director of UFF Medialab and vice-director of the Computers Science Institute. Esteban is one of the founders of SBGames - Brazilian Symposium of Digital Entertainment and Video Games (the largest conference in the subject in South America), is director of Academia of IGDA Rio, president of the Brazilian Computing Society Game Committee and member of program committees of many conferences in Video Games. In 2007 received the prize of the personality which most contributed for the growth of the video game industry in Brazil and in 2009 received the prize of Young Scientist of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Esteban is the coordinator of the first Latin America CUDA Center of Excelence, which is in UFF Medialab.