Feeds

Video: High school kids fend off university challenge in student cluster battle

For a little bit, at least...

Remote control for virtualized desktops

SC12 The SC Student Cluster Competition (SCC) has seen university teams from around the world vying to prove their cluster competence. But this year has been marked by a number of firsts, including the first team composed entirely of high school students. The Skyline High School Eagles, located in Salt Lake City, entered the LittleFe Division of the SCC and competed against three teams of older and more experienced university students.

Over the course of this two-day marathon competition, the teams had to solve a 10,000-city Traveling Salesman problem. In this problem, the teams are given data sets containing 10,000 locations (or cities) and the distance between each. The task is to figure out a route that visits each city only once while minimising distance traveled, and returns the salesman to his starting location.

Teams received points for the amount of time they were ahead of the others in computing the best solution for each data set. New data sets were released every few hours, giving competitors a fresh problem to attack and the potential to make a game-changing breakthrough.

While some of the data sets were random or semi-random 3D clouds, SCC co-chair Peter Molnar mixed it up by adding some unique twists and turns. Here are two of his most creative efforts:

Each red dot represents one location in the data set. These are the 2D representations, since they more clearly show the images.

Team Skyline took what I think is an unconventional approach. Rather than test a set of algorithms and select one to attack the problem, they decided to go with their own homegrown algorithm. It was a bold and aggressive move for sure, but ultimately unsuccessful. They tended to trail the field throughout the competition but carried on, optimising their routines on the fly and continuing to run the race. Finally, on the last data set, they had a shining moment.

It happened on this data set, titled ‘waytoregular’:

This is just a set of evenly spaced points on a grid. Each point is equidistant from its nearest neighbor. This is the simplest grid pattern possible, and there was something about it that the Skyline algorithm really liked. While the other competitors’ routines couldn’t seem to catch on, Skyline’s was solving it quickly and efficiently – moving them from fourth to second to an eventual first-place finish on this data set.

The video captures their reactions as they watched their system edge ahead of the others, and it’s fun to see. This outstanding performance on a single data set wasn’t enough to move them up in the overall standings, but it was certainly enough to justify a honorable mention at the awards ceremony recognising the achievement. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.