Myths and Legends in High-Performance Computing

6 Jan 2023  ·  Satoshi Matsuoka, Jens Domke, Mohamed Wahib, Aleksandr Drozd, Torsten Hoefler ·

In this humorous and thought provoking article, we discuss certain myths and legends that are folklore among members of the high-performance computing community. We collected those myths from conversations at conferences and meetings, product advertisements, papers, and other communications such as tweets, blogs, and news articles within (and beyond) our community. We believe they represent the zeitgeist of the current era of massive change, driven by the end of many scaling laws such as Dennard scaling and Moore's law. While some laws end, new directions open up, such as algorithmic scaling or novel architecture research. However, these myths are rarely based on scientific facts but often on some evidence or argumentation. In fact, we believe that this is the very reason for the existence of many myths and why they cannot be answered clearly. While it feels like there should be clear answers for each, some may remain endless philosophical debates such as the question whether Beethoven was better than Mozart. We would like to see our collection of myths as a discussion of possible new directions for research and industry investment.

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