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ATLAS Experiment: Scaling High Throughput Workflows


ATLAS Experiment made heavy use of NERSC to analyze data and prepare for LHC upgrades.

Scientific Achievement

Researchers from the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC ) used NERSC’s Cori supercomputer to simulate over 250 million proton collisions in support of the experiment’s data analysis efforts. This campaign also paves the way for even larger analysis that will be needed following a 2025 LHC upgrade.

Significance and Impact

The LHC is the world’s central laboratory for High Energy Physics research, where the ATLAS experiment observes the highest energy proton-proton collisions. Having discovered the Higgs Boson, the collaboration is now studying the Higgs with great precision with the goal of finding clues that lead to the next discovery. This project specifically targets running ATLAS simulation on DOE’s HPC resources to prepare for dealing with an increase of 10-100X more data following the LHC upgrade.

Research Details

This was the third in a line of DOE ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge awards in which the ATLAS experiment has continued to improve the efficiency of simulation workflows at DOE HPC facilities. During this award period, the Harvester edge service was largely developed, deployed, and validated for production. This was an important step for the experiment. Harvester runs on a login node and retrieves ATLAS simulation jobs from the PanDA workflow system and marshals the work through the local resource. The MPI-enabled workload, Yoda, was also under development to improve efficiency of ATLAS applications.

Related Links

Journal of Physics Conference Series: IOP Conf. Series: Journal of Physics: Conf. Series 898 (2017) 062002 doi :10.1088/1742-6596/898/6/062002

About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high-performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the NERSC Center serves more than 7,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in combustion, climate modeling, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.