Cataloging the Visible Universe through Bayesian Inference at Petascale

01/31/2018 ∙ by Jeffrey Regier, et al. ∙ 0

Astronomical catalogs derived from wide-field imaging surveys are an important tool for understanding the Universe. We construct an astronomical catalog from 55 TB of imaging data using Celeste, a Bayesian variational inference code written entirely in the high-productivity programming language Julia. Using over 1.3 million threads on 650,000 Intel Xeon Phi cores of the Cori Phase II supercomputer, Celeste achieves a peak rate of 1.54 DP PFLOP/s. Celeste is able to jointly optimize parameters for 188M stars and galaxies, loading and processing 178 TB across 8192 nodes in 14.6 minutes. To achieve this, Celeste exploits parallelism at multiple levels (cluster, node, and thread) and accelerates I/O through Cori's Burst Buffer. Julia's native performance enables Celeste to employ high-level constructs without resorting to hand-written or generated low-level code (C/C++/Fortran), and yet achieve petascale performance.

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