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Event | Europe | Computing | High performance computing | Simulation & modelling

AIDAS Annual Workshop #5 gathered 40 CEA and FZJ researchers online and in Saclay on 27-28 September 2022.

​CEA and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) are joining forces to advance science, from fundamental research on emerging and future computer architectures to application modeling. To this end, CEA and FZJ have established AIDAS, a joint virtual laboratory in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, scalable simulation and quantum computing. AIDAS held its fifth annual workshop in Saclay on 27 and 28 September 2022.
Published on 25 October 2022

Since its foundation in mid-July 2019, AIDAS has been developing highly scalable and optimized application codes in selected scientific fields (currently materials science, plasma physics, neuroscience and energy). In addition, AIDAS explores the potential of new and future computer architectures and promotes the synergetic interdisciplinary development and use of generic methods and algorithms for exascale computing.

The virtual laboratory has currently about 80 members, and all research projects have a Franco-German symmetry to promote science for both CEA and FZJ on strategic topics.

Since January 2022, AIDAS has hired more than 10 researchers (PhDs and post-docs), working at CEA and FZJ. Additionally, AIDAS has funds for the exchange of researchers from both organizations as well as for special workshops and conferences.

During the workshop in Saclay, which was attended by about 40 researchers, AIDAS members discussed the synergies between the different projects.

(c)CEA/Didier Touzeau

The AIDAS workshop highlighted possible interactions between the neuroscience and materials science teams. AIDAS funds the Data Express project, which focusses on Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) for materials research, using a range of different techniques (Pixellated STEM, Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy, Electron Holography). The project is of interest for the characterization of all nano-scaled materials, such as semiconductors, photovoltaics and biological tissues.

The detectors of TEMs become more and more powerful, e.g. due to the widespread use of bigger and faster cameras. The resulting large data sets require special considerations for storage and processing. In addition, one must consider the increasing complexity of analyzing of the acquired data.  This may involve the use of ptychographic algorithms, correlation of features across large datasets or between different techniques, pattern recognition and noise redaction.

The Data Express team is developing the LiberTEM library ( within AIDAS. LiberTEM is an open source platform for high-throughput distributed processing of large-scale binary data sets and live data streams using a modified MapReduce programming model. The team is now working to combine its software with the many different microscope interfaces used for data acquisition: "it's critical that we work closely with equipment manufacturers to develop open, efficient standards for control and data transfer if we are to maximize the scientific output of these tools", said Matthew Bryan, post-doc researcher hired within AIDAS.

Neuroscience teams on both the CEA and FZJ sides have focused on the same problem in recent years: acquiring all MRI data is only meaningful if one has all the information, and that includes the acquisition conditions. The numerous interfaces regarding the acquisition instrument affect both the neuroscience and materials science teams. AIDAS will propose to explore whether both teams can work together to unlock this issue.

In addition, all AIDAS members were able to discover the Condensed Matter Physics (SPEC) laboratory of IRAMIS (IRAMIS: Saclay Institute for Radiation and Matter) during their visit to CEA Saclay.

The CEA SPEC team is collaborating with the FZJ team: "The aim is to significantly improve the gate-based quantum computer hardware developed at CEA based on the quantum optimal control techniques developed at FZJ", said Patrice Bertet, leader of the AIDAS-funded project "Enhancing gate-based quantum hardware". The team strengthens the computational performance of the gate-based circuit-QED platform at CEA by tailoring FZJ's quantum optimization methods to the specific computational tasks in the hybrid quantum computing experiment. Yutian Wen presented the designed superconducting components of the hybrid system quantum memory and explained the principles of the fabrication process to all AIDAS members.

AIDAS will continue to focus on funding events and meetings to promote interaction within and between the different projects. This fifth workshop was a success as many new ideas and research opportunities were developed during these two days.

AIDAS is led by Dr. Christophe Calvin and Dr. France Boillod-Cerneux from CEA and Prof. Thomas Lippert and Prof. Kristel Michielsen from FZJ. AIDAS is expected to support expertise in numerics until the end of 2024.

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