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Test of Time Award

About the Award

The “Test of Time” award recognizes an outstanding paper from a past SC Conference that has deeply influenced the HPC discipline. It recognizes the historical impact of authors and the clear expression the paper has changed HPC trends. The award is also an incentive for researchers and students to send their best work to SC and a tool to understand why and how results last in the HPC discipline.

The “Test of Time” award is an annual conference award under the responsibility of the General Chair, and given to a single paper (no multiple awards). A paper can receive the Test of Time award only once.

This award was established for the 25th anniversary of the SC Conference in 2013. Eligibility of papers for the Test of Time award follows these rules: from SC’13 to SC’17 (included), any SC paper that is at least 10 years old is eligible.  From SC'18, papers that are between 10 and 25 years old are eligible.

The “Test of Time” award Chair is named by the General and Program Chairs of the Conference and reports to them. The “Test of Time” Chair has the responsibility to form the “Test of Time” Committee and organize the paper selection process. The Committee is named for one year and should cover the technical papers areas of the SC Conferences. The Committee should be composed, at least partially, of personalities of exceptional caliber having a long experience in the HPC domain and a profound understanding of the HPC trends and challenges.

The author(s) or an expert who that can talk on the significance of the paper is invited to give a presentation in The Masterworks program (typically 45 minutes as a non-plenary presentation).

The winners of the “Test of Time” award receive a distinctive plaque during the Awards session and a cash award equal to the SC Best Paper cash award ($1000 in 2013), which is shared among authors.

Descriptions of the award and information about the selection process appear in the Technical Program portion of the Conference website, under Awards.

The SC14 ToTA Winner

The SC14 awards committee announced “A Multi-level Algorithm for Partitioning Graphs,” co-authored by Bruce Hendrickson and Rob Leland of Sandia National Laboratories, as the winner of the prestigious 2014 Test of Time Award. 

Hendrickson, Affiliated Professor of Computer Science at University of New Mexico and Senior Manager for Extreme Scale Computing at Sandia National Laboratories, and Leland, Director of Computing Research at Sandia National Laboratories, were selected for their achievements in laying the inspirational groundwork for graph partitioning. Published in 1995 in the Proceedings of Supercomputing, “A Multi-level Algorithm for Partitioning Graphs” has had a tremendous impact on parallel computing, as graph partitioning lies at the heart of numerous scientific computations and is actively used to this day.

“The innovative methods so elegantly introduced in this paper represented the starting point for a collection of popular partitioning and load-balancing approaches, together with toolsets that have enabled scalable parallelism for countless applications over the past two decades,” says Ewing ("Rusty") Lusk, Argonne Distinguished Fellow Emeritus at Argonne National Laboratory.

Multi-level graph partitioning is a method that partitions a series of smaller graphs and then propagates the result back to the original graph. Hendrickson and Leland were the first to develop this concept in their initial software, Chaco. Hendrickson and Leland’s work served as the basis for many widely used libraries in the HPC community, which was almost solely due to the publication of this paper.

“The idea of hierarchical graph partitioning, as introduced by Hendrickson and Leland, has proven essential, especially given the increased importance of unstructured meshes in science and engineering simulations,” says Kathy Yelick, Associate Laboratory Director of Computing Sciences at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. “Today, this methodology helps deal with the exponential increase in computational problem sizes and the increased scale of parallelizing these problems.”

Making its inaugural appearance at the SC conference’s 25th anniversary in 2013, the Test of Time Award recognizes the most transformative and inspiring research in the HPC community. The first Test of Time Award was presented to William Pugh, Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland at College Park, at SC13 for his paper, “The Omega Project and Constraint Based Analysis Techniques in High Performance Computing.”

Read Hendrickson and Leland’s paper on IEEE’s Xplore Digital Library

The award will be presented at the SC14 Test of Time Award Presentation in New Orleans, LA in November 2014.

Email Contact: sc14tota@committee.supercomputing.org

Award Co-Chairs:

Ewing Lusk, Argonne National Laboratory
Katherine Yelick, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory