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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V001493/1
Title: Gen X: ExCALIBUR working group on Exascale continuum mechanics through code generation.
Principal Investigator: Ham, Dr DA
Other Investigators:
Acreman, Dr DM Wingate, Professor B Gorman, Professor G
Vincent, Professor PE Mudalige, Professor GR Kelly, Professor P
Farrell, Professor PE
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
DownUnder GeoSolutions Pty Ltd Durham, University of Hewlett Packard Enterprise
IBM UK Ltd Schlumberger Technical University of Munich
UCL University at Buffalo (SUNY) University of Bath
University of Leeds
Department: Mathematics
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 April 2020 Ends: 30 November 2021 Value (£): 174,252
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Mar 2020 Software use code development for exascale computing Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Continuous physical processes pervade every aspect of our society,

industry and the natural world. From the flow of air over an aircraft

to the propagation of mobile phone signals, to the behaviour of

chemical components at every point of the manufacturing processes,

continuum mechanics is at the heart of our industrial processes. In

medicine, the electrical behaviour of the heart and brain, the flow of

blood and other fluids through the body, and the detection of disorders

using all manner of scanners and detectors are all continuum mechanics

processes. In the natural world, detecting and understanding the

movement and composition of the Earth enable us to understand

earthquakes and to hunt for valuable minerals, while advanced

understanding of the complex interaction of fluids and electromagnetic

fields allows us to understand stars, the cosmos and our place in it.

In all of these cases and many more beside, the mathematical equations

describing phenomena are known, but solutions very rarely

exist. Science and engineering are essentially dependent on computer

simulation to understand any of these systems, and to design the

devices and processes which use them. Many of these phenomena are so

complex or have such a range of spatial scales that existing petascale

computer systems are a limit on scientific advance. In addition, there

is a need to go beyond mere simulation to simulate the uncertainty in

processes, find the optimal solution, or discover the multiple

possible outcomes of a system. The advent of exascale computing

presents the opportunity to address these limitations. However,

increasing computational scale, increasingly complex simulation

algorithms, and the vast quantities of data produced by exascale

computing will defeat not just existing simulation software, but also

existing ways of writing simulation software.

Gen X is a project to establish the requirements for exascale

simulation software for continuum mechanics, and to provide a concrete

way of achieving this capability within the next five years. The Gen X

approach is to move beyond just writing code to a system of specialist

simulation languages which enable scientists and engineers to specify

the problem they want to solve and the algorithms they want by writing

mathematics, the language of science. The actual code will be

automatically generated by specialist compilers rather than

hand-written. Rather than an algorithm developer writing a paper about

their new development and hoping that simulation scientists will find

the time to code it up for their specific problem, the algorithm will

be encoded in a domain specific language and implemented in its

compiler. The simulation scientist will then be able to access the

algorithm directly without recoding.

At exascale, writing all the simulation outputs to disk for later

analysis is impossible. Instead, simulation data must be processed,

analysed and visualised as the simulation is conducted, and only the

results stored for later use. Gen X will provide mathematical

languages for this process which will enable the scientist or engineer

to concisely specify the analysis to be performed, and to have

confidence that the resulting calculations will be both efficient and


By enabling scientists and engineers to work at a higher mathematical

level while also accessing more sophisticated algorithms and

hardware-specific implementations than previously possible, Gen X will

make simulation science both more capable and more productive. In this

manner, Gen X is essential to realising the potential of exascale

computing while also making the most efficient use of research


Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk