Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Symposium Launches “Sherlock”

Will Discover Relationships in Complex Masses of Data

On February 1, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) will host an event and symposium to launch its newest supercomputer, Sherlock. A uRiKA graph-analytics appliance from YarcData, Sherlock is designed to discover unknown relationships or patterns hidden in extremely large and complex bodies of information.

Attendees may register for the event at: https://www.psc.edu/index.php/events/sherlocklaunch.

“Sherlock gives PSC the first system available to researchers that is optimized for a particularly difficult family of questions regarding, for example, security, medicine, public health, and social dynamics,” says Nick Nystrom, Director of Strategic Applications, PSC. “These problems cost individuals and society in time, money, and human suffering. Sherlock also helps keep Pittsburgh — and Pennsylvania — at the forefront of high performance computing.”

The 11 a.m. launch event will feature remarks by Ralph Roskies and Mike Levine, Scientific Directors of PSC. Other speakers will include:

  • Barry Schneider, Program Director for the National Science Foundation‘s Office of Cyberinfrastructure
  • Mark A. Nordenberg, Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
  • Jared L. Cohon, President, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Arvind Parthasarathi, President, YarcData

The morning event will end with a demonstration by Nystrom of Sherlock‘s power to uncover hidden relationships in big datasets.

A technical release describing Sherlock’s architecture and capabilities can be found at https://www.psc.edu/index.php/newscenter/71-2012press/766-psc-presents-sherlock-a-yarcdata-urika-system-for-big-data-analytics.

A 1 p.m. symposium will feature scientific talks by experts on graph analytics — the analysis of complex networks — including:

  • Nick Nystrom
  • Randal E. Bryant, University Professor of Computer Science and Dean, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Songjain Lu and Xinghua Lu, Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh
  • Christos Faloutsos, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Jim Harrell, Vice President of Engineering, YarcData.

Their talks will focus on topics including:

  • The “massively multithreaded” architecture that allows Sherlock to follow multiple leads in complex networks that are intractable on other computers — and how PSC’s customization of Sherlock by adding general-purpose nodes enables broader classes of problems to be tackled.
  • “Graph models,” the types of arbitrary networks Sherlock was designed to address, and how they can be used to understand how networks of genes and proteins cause cells to become cancerous — and how doctors could disrupt such “cancer signals.”
  • Cutting-edge algorithms for working with graphs of unprecedented size to understand the dynamics of social networks.

Sherlock was funded through the Strategic Technologies for Cyberinfrastructure program of the National Science Foundation, through a grant of over $1 million. This funding joins nearly $500 million in federal and industrial funding that PSC has previously drawn to Pennsylvania.


About PSC: Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (http://www.psc.edu) is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with Westinghouse Electric Company. Established in 1986, PSC is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry, and is a major partner in the National Science Foundation XSEDE program.

About YarcData: YarcData, a Cray company, delivers business-focused real-time graph analytics for enterprises to gain business insight by discovering unknown relationships in Big Data. Early adopters include the Canadian government, Institute for Systems Biology, Mayo Clinic, Noblis, Sandia National Laboratories, and the United States government. YarcData is based in the San Francisco bay area. More information is at www.yarcdata.com.

About Cray Inc.: Global supercomputing leader Cray Inc. (Nasdaq: CRAY) provides innovative systems and solutions enabling scientists and engineers in industry, academia and government to meet existing and future simulation and analytics challenges. Leveraging 40 years of experience in developing and servicing the world’s most advanced supercomputers, Cray offers a comprehensive portfolio of high performance computing (HPC) systems, storage, and Big Data solutions delivering unrivaled performance, efficiency and scalability. Cray’s Adaptive Supercomputing vision is focused on delivering innovative next-generation products that integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified architecture, allowing customers to surpass today’s limitations and meeting the market’s continued demand for realized performance. Go to www.cray.com for more information.