Scalable Precision Tuning of Numerical Software

The IDEAS Productivity project, in partnership with the DOE Computing Facilities of the ALCF, OLCF, and NERSC and the DOE Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has resumed the webinar series on Best Practices for HPC Software Developers, which we began in 2016.

As part of this series, we offer one-hour webinars on topics in scientific software development and high-performance computing, approximately once a month. The October webinar is titled Scalable Precision Tuning of Numerical Software, and will be presented by Cindy Rubio González (UC Davis). The webinar will take place on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET.


The use of numerical software has grown rapidly over the past few years, providing the foundation for a large variety of applications including scientific software and machine learning. Given the variety of numerical errors that can occur, floating-point programs are difficult to write, test and debug. One common practice among developers is to use the highest available precision when allocating variables. While more robust, this can degrade program performance significantly. This webinar will describe research related to the development of tools to assist programmers in tuning the precision of their floating-point programs. These tools conduct a data-driven approach to search over the types of floating-point variables to lower their precision subject to accuracy constraints and performance goals. In the last part of the webinar, the presenter will discuss challenges and opportunities for scalable precision tuning of large HPC applications.