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Strategies for Democratization of Supercomputing: Availability, Accessibility and Usability of High Performance Computing for Education and Practice of Big Data Analytics

by   Jim Samuel, et al.
Northeastern University
Rutgers University

There has been an increasing interest in and growing need for high performance computing (HPC), popularly known as supercomputing, in domains such as textual analytics, business domains analytics, forecasting and natural language processing (NLP), in addition to the relatively mature supercomputing domains of quantum physics and biology. HPC has been widely used in computer science (CS) and other traditionally computation intensive disciplines, but has remained largely siloed away from the vast array of social, behavioral, business and economics disciplines. However, with ubiquitous big data, there is a compelling need to make HPC technologically and economically accessible, easy to use, and operationally democratized. Therefore, this research focuses on making two key contributions, the first is the articulation of strategies based on availability, accessibility and usability for the demystification and democratization of HPC, based on an analytical review of Caliburn, a notable supercomputer at its inception. The second contribution is a set of principles for HPC adoption based on an experiential narrative of HPC usage for textual analytics and NLP of social media data from a first time user perspective. Both, the HPC usage process and the output of the early stage analytics are summarized. This research study synthesizes expert input on HPC democratization strategies, and chronicles the challenges and opportunities from a multidisciplinary perspective, of a case of rapid adoption of supercomputing for textual analytics and NLP. Deductive logic is used to identify strategies which can lead to efficacious engagement, adoption, production and sustained usage for research, teaching, application and innovation by researchers, faculty, professionals and students across a broad range of disciplines.


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