Computer scientists from Rice University, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have used one of Isaac Newton’s numerical methods to demonstrate how “inexact computing” can dramatically improve the quality of simulations run on supercomputers.
The research is summarized in a paper on the preprint server ArXiv and is part of an ongoing effort by scientists at Rice University’s Center for Computing at the Margins (RUCCAM) to dramatically improve the resolution of weather and climate models with new ultra-efficient approaches to supercomputing.
The research stems from an idea put forward in 2003 by RUCCAM Director Krishna Palem: Accuracy and energy are exchangeable in computation, and sacrificing minimal accuracy can yield tremendous energy savings.
“In many situations, having an answer that is accurate to seven or eight decimal places is of no greater value than having an answer that is accurate to three or four decimal places, and it is important or realize that there are very real costs, in terms of energy expended, to arrive at the more accurate answer,” Palem said. “The discipline of inexact computing centers on saving energy wherever possibly by paying only for the accuracy that is required in a given situation.”
Read more here: www.scienceandtechnologyresearchnews.com/computer-scientists-find-inexact-computing-can-improve-answers/