Embedded CSE (eCSE) support

Through a series of regular calls, Embedded CSE (eCSE) support provides funding to the ARCHER user community to develop software in a sustainable manner to run on ARCHER.

Details of any current eCSE calls and their remit can be found on the eCSE calls page

Useful Links

The eCSE programme provides tangible software enhancements to the communities exploiting software on ARCHER. This in turn has led to significant scientific advancements and both economic and social benefits to society.

Reports from completed eCSE projects

Visualisation of convergence for Poisson mother problem

Scalable automated parallel PDE-constrained optimisation for dolfin-adjoint

The dolfin-adjoint package enables the automated optimisation of problems constrained by partial differential equations (PDEs). These problems are ubiquitous in engineering, eg the design of wings to maximise lift, or the cheapest bridge that will support the required load. Prior to this project, dolfin-adjoint was limited to serial optimisation libraries with no concept of parallel linear algebra. The work done in this project has eliminated the performance penalty associated with gathering the data and lifted the upper bound on the size of problems which can be considered.

Image of section of Crambin unit cell

Hybrid OpenMP and MPI within the CASTEP code

First-principles simulations of materials have had a profound and pervasive impact on science and technology, from physics, chemistry and materials science to diverse areas such as electronics, geology and medicine. CASTEP is a widely-used, UK-developed program for the quantum mechanical modelling of materials. This project has added a new level of parallelism to CASTEP, laying the foundations for a version of the code that will work well on future exascale supercomputers. The net result is a new science capability, allowing the study of larger and more complex systems than before, in less time.

Exemplar output from profiling tool

Tuning FHI-Aims for complex simulations on Cray HPC platforms

The main objective of this project was to tune FHI-aims, a quantum mechanical electronic structure code, for optimal efficiency on ARCHER's hardware, for the benefit of members of the Materials Chemistry Consortium (MCC) and other users. The overarching target of this work by scientists at University College London was to improve scalability for a wide range of applications to enable new science, using current and emerging UK computer facilities, in a wide range of fields including materials and life sciences, chemistry, physics, and engineering.

image of alizarin in implicit solvent

Calculating Excited States of Extended Systems in LR-TDDFT

Electronic structure theory is a hugely important contributor to understanding properties of materials. Large-scale Density Functional Theory (DFT) codes such as ONETEP allow us to predict ground-state properties for large systems such as complex biomolecules. In this project, scientists at the University of Cambridge aimed to enhance, extend and improve the implementation in ONETEP of Linear Response Time-Dependent Density-Functional Theory (LR-TDDFT), the method of choice for computing optical properties of large systems.

Climate simulation image

Porting and enabling use of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) climate model on ARCHER

The Community Earth System Model (CESM) is a state-of-the-art coupled climate model for simulating the earth's climate system. Composed of four separate sub-models simultaneously simulating the earth's atmosphere, ocean, land surface and sea-ice, and one central coupler component, CESM allows researchers to conduct fundamental research into the earth's past, present and future climate states. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have ported to ARCHER and optimised two versions of CESM, and these are now both readily usable by the UK climate research community. This is expected to generate a further growth in interest in the model.

image of solvent cavity for the T4 lysozyme protein L99A/M102Q (2600 atoms) as produced by the ONETEP solvation model

A pinch of salt in ONETEP's solvent model

Chemical reactions, drug-protein interactions, and many chemical and physical processes on surfaces are examples of technologically important processes that happen in the presence of solvents. The inclusion of electrolytes (salt) in solvents such as water is crucial for biomolecular simulations, as most processes (e.g. protein-protein or protein-drug interactions or DNA mutations) take place in saline solutions. This project aimed to develop the capability to model electrolyte-containing solvents in quantum-mechanical simulations of materials from first principles. Using a linear-scaling code such as ONETEP enables simulations to be performed on entire biomolecules or catalysts that typically involve hundreds or thousands of atoms.

Visualisation of wavefunction density at the end of an RMT calculation

Performance enhancement in RMT codes in preparation for application to circular polarised light fields

One of the grand challenges in physics and chemistry is to understand what actually happens during a chemical reaction. The nuclei in molecules move on the femtosecond (10-15 s) timescale, but the electrons in the molecules move on the attosecond (10-18 s) timescale. The R-matrix with time dependence (RMT) code is a leading code for the description of ultra-fast processes in general atoms and molecules. Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have been working on the RMT code, increasing its speed by up to a factor of 5 and reducing the amount of memory required by one or more orders of magnitude.

Cross-section of the proximal end of a human femur

Understanding how bones develop and respond to disease and the use of implants

Scientists at the University of Hull have developed their simulation software to utilise ARCHER to model complete bones or large sections of bones. This offers the exciting opportunity to model skeletal development and adaptation. The potential benefits are enormous, ranging from a better understanding of both the fundamental biomechanics of bone and the cause and effects of musculoskeletal conditions, to better implant design.

Gas pipelines on the sea floor

TPLS: Optimised Parallel I/O and Visualisation

TPLS (Two Phase Level Set) is a powerful 3D Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) solver that is able to simulate multi-phase flows at unprecedented detail, speed and accuracy with applications in energy (oil/gas pipeline flows, microelectronic cooling via phase-change), environment (carbon capture and cleaning) and health (flows in retinal capillaries). Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have been working on the code, converting the previously serial I/O to a scalable parallel implementation. This results in a halving of the time taken for each simulation from set-up to complete analysis.

Topological connectivity diagram

Scalable and interoperable I/O for Fluidity

At Imperial College London, scientists have been working with the Fluidity CFD code to improve file I/O and the performance and scalability of the underlying PETSc library. The resulting performance increase is then utilised to improve the mesh initialisation performance of the Fluidity CFD code through run-time distribution and more efficient data migration. In addition to performance improvements the capabilities of PETSc's DMPlexDistribute interface have been extended to include load-balancing and re-distribution of parallel meshes, as well as the ability to generate multiple levels of partition overlap. Furthermore, support for additional mesh file formats has been added to DMPlex and Fluidity, including binary Gmsh, Fluent-Case.