Are we Doing the Right Thing? – A Critical Analysis of the Academic HPC Community

TitleAre we Doing the Right Thing? – A Critical Analysis of the Academic HPC Community
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAnzt, H., and G. Flegar
Conference Name2019 IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops (IPDPSW)
Date Published2019-05
Conference LocationRio de Janeiro, Brazil

Like in any other research field, academically surviving in the High Performance Computing (HPC) community generally requires to publish papers, in the bast case many of them and in high-ranked journals or at top-tier conferences. As a result, the number of scientific papers published each year in this relatively small community easily outnumbers what a single researcher can read. At the same time, many of the proposed and analyzed strategies, algorithms, and hardware-optimized implementations never make it beyond the prototype stage, as they are abandoned once they served the single purpose of yielding (another) publication. In a time and field where high-quality manpower is a scarce resource, this is extremely inefficient. In this position paper we promote a radical paradigm shift towards accepting high-quality software patches to community software packages as legitimate conference contributions. In consequence, the reputation and appointability of researchers is no longer based on the classical scientific metrics, but on the quality and documentation of open source software contributions - effectively improving and accelerating the collaborative development of community software.

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