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Bel Dumé – Technoscope - 21/12/2012

Cédric Chevalier : "Scotch is ahead of the curve for state-of-the-art architectures"

Cédric Chevalier, engineer-researcher at CEA, "Scotch is ahead of the curve for state-of-the-art architectures".

What applications does CEA use Scotch for?

Historically, Scotch is closely tied to CEA. The Bordeaux center, for example, has been using Scotch for twenty years for matrix renumbering in order to optimize the solving of linear algebra problems. Today, we mainly use this tool to rebalance computing loads in widely-distributed, parallel applications, in order to better make use of computing resources. This is the case for most of the applications used by CEA, like the simulation of physical phenomena involved in experiments on the coming Megajoule laser.

Why use Scotch?

We use Scotch over other partitioners because robustness is a priority. Another asset of Scotch is that it is French and has a very responsive team, such as for developing new features or fixing a bug. Additionally, the software is ahead of the curve for the new heterogeneous architectures, a specific feature that particularly interests us for the future.

Can you explain how you work together?

I have a good understanding not only of the software Scotch as a result of having done my thesis with François Pellegrini, but also other open-source  partitioners like Metis which I use, or Zoltan, which I had the chance to work on afterward. I don't contribute directly to the software, but I test new features before they are released. I can also hone in on developments that interest us, such as the development of multi-constraint partitioning, which is needed for large multi-physical simulations. We plan to cooperate more substantially by co-directing a thesis together on the matter.  

Keywords: Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest Scotch software