Beau Johnston is a Computer Scientist in the Future Technologies Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University. His research focuses on High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Programming Languages; More specifically, investigating the patterns/characteristics of scientific workloads and their impact on performance over a range of accelerator hardware.
Scientific discovery is becoming increasingly dependant on supercomputers, which require increasingly large and more complex simulations. Accelerators are critical for the next-generation of these supercomputers -- offering energy-efficiency where it is sorely needed.
During his Ph.D. at the Australian National University, he developed a tool to perform Architecture-Independent Workload Characterization (AIWC -- pronounced | \ 'air-wik) -- which extracts features critical to performance. On a day to day basis, his current work involves building and applying machine learning models -- based on these AIWC metrics -- to perform accurate predictions of performance on accelerators, and incorporating them into scheduling frameworks. His research is applicable to workload scheduling (to better use these massive machines) and evaluating prospective hardware before manufacture (to allow the most appropriate supercomputers to be built based on the envisaged scientific workloads).