Manycore Research Innovation and Opportunities Network (MaRIONet)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Computing Science


The transition to manycore systems is arguably the greatest challenge
facing the ICT industry, Computational Science, and Computing Science
research. The challenge is globally recognised, and is an EPSRC ICT priority:
Manycore Architectures in Distributed and Embedded Systems (MACDES).
The proposed network will identify and bring together a critical mass
of UK manycore researchers.

The manycore revolution is fundamentally changing multiple levels of
the computation execution stack: from processor architecture, through
systems software, to applications. The UK has world leading
researchers and industrialists working on specific technologies at
each level, but currently researchers and engineers do not collaborate
adequately on the complex manycore challenges. Furthermore,
meaningful industry engagement is limited, despite the large number of
UK-based industrial research labs with strategic interest in manycore

We will foster effective communication between academic and industrial
research teams both at different levels in the execution stack
(e.g. compiler developers targeting an emergent architecture), and
within each level (e.g. program analysis applied to improve memory
access latency in the systems layer). The teams will benefit by being
able to identify and exploit synergies and opportunities for

We will establish well defined, highly available channels for
communication and low-overhead mechanisms for collaboration. Given
that many world-class UK researchers are isolated in relatively small
departments and research groups, the network will enable national
sharing of ideas, information and infrastructure. Community support
and resource pooling will enable UK researchers to achieve greater
academic impact globally, competing effectively with larger,
well-resourced groups in the USA (e.g. Aspire Lab at Berkeley), China
(e.g. State Key Lab of Computer System and Architecture, Chinese
Academy of Sciences), and elsewhere.

Both architectural innovation and systems software development are
massive investments, often involving person-decades of
effort. MaRIONet will enable sharing of expertise and infrastructure
to lower the barrier to entry for UK systems researchers working in
this area. Industrial network partners will gain exposure to
cutting-edge research, and ideas to address current problems. Academic
partners gain real-world use cases and grand challenges.

At least three of the UK Policy Exchange `Eight great technologies'
are directly enabled by the increased scale and speed of future manycore
systems and software, namely:

* Big Data revolution: enabled by manycore systems for
energy-efficient collection, analysis and storage of big data.

* Robotics and autonomous systems: enabled by manycore
systems for artificial intelligence, planning, image recognition,
humanoid motion control.

* Synthetic biology: enabled by manycore processing of biological
data, in-silico simulation of bio-mechanisms.

Hence we anticipate that future UK economic growth and societal well-being
will be strongly influenced by manycore technology, which is the focus of
our research network.

Planned Impact

We envisage impact primarily in the areas of Knowledge, People and
Economy. We denote RCUK impact activities as: Application and
exploitation(APP), Communication & engagement (COMM), Collaboration &
co-production(COLL) and Capacity & involvement(CAP).


MaRIONet enhances the capability of the fragmented UK manycore research
community by creating a critical mass, to deliver better representation
of UK-based research in leading international conferences, (e.g. PLDI,
ASPLOS), journals (e.g. IEEE TOCS, ACM TOPLAS), and events

Direct contributions to knowledge include open access reports and
lecture notes. A key contribution is the roadmap that should inform
future funding priorities. (COMM,CAP)

The impact of new technologies developed within the network will be
enhanced by ongoing engagement with industrial network partners. We
will foster collaborations, including academic/industrial
collaborations, via regular network meetings, industrial fora like
EdLambda, and by Innovate UK KTN events. (APP,CAP)

Open access to documents and software will facilitate
dissemination. Similarly open access to software and our infrastructure
sharing scheme will encourage technology adoption and multi-technology
evaluation by making cross-site experimentation easier. (APP,COLL)


We will facilitate the development of new skills for current
practitioners, and the training of new practitioners as part of the UK
people pipeline. Moreover we seek to engage the wider public with social
media, and school children via classroom materials. (CAP)

Postgraduate students and early career researchers will enhance both
discipline-specific competence and transferable skills by attending
themed meetings, annual workshops and the Summer School. The large
postgraduate and early career community identified by the network will
be a key part of a nationwide virtual centre of excellence for
manycore. An early career mentoring champion on the steering committee
will provide informal advice and career guidance at annual
workshops. Industrial partners will provide placements/internships for
early career researchers. (CAP, COLL)

Our social media strategy exploits channels like twitter and Youtube to
present network activities to a wider audience, e.g. three-minute videos
summarising new research. We will raise the exposure and clarify the
motivation of our publicly-funded research. (COMM)

Our schools outreach strategy will exploit existing strong links with
the Computing At School grassroots ICT teachers organization. The PI
will design manycore classroom activity packs to support computational
thinking. The packs will be developed by interns at Glasgow, then
distributed via Computing At School, and using online media
channels. (CAP, COMM)


Effectively exploiting manycore architectures is arguably the greatest
challenge facing the UK ICT sector, which directly employs 1m people and
is worth GBP 58 billion annually. MaRIONet seeks to strengthen the
manycore capabilities of the sector and secure them as a core competency
for UK ICT.

We will exploit strong industrial links of the initial network partners,
and target strong growth in industrial partners during the project.
Relevant technical challenges from industrial partners at network
meetings will foster academic/industrial collaborative projects. These
may start as hackathons or internships, and then transition into more
substantial collaborations. Some may leverage Knowledge Transfer Account
(KTA), or other, funding. (COLL, CAP)

We will encourage industrial exploitation and application of academic
research. Individual members have access to institutional help, e.g.
Easy Access IP. A knowledge transfer champion on the steering committee
will provide expert consultancy to academic and industrial network
partners about best practice for research exploitation. (COLL, CAP)


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Archibald B (2018) Replicable parallel branch and bound search in Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing

Description Greater engagement between the UK academic and industrial research communities, in the manycore systems and software domains. This is evidenced by joint workshops, plans for a PhD summer school, and collaborative document writing.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics
Impact Types Economic

Title Replicable Parallel Branch and Bound Search 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Description Launch workshop for network 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A launch event for the UK Manycore network, with a variety of talks, a keynote presentation, a speed networking session and a panel discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
Description Manycore network online communications 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Mailing list, website and social media channels for the UK Manycore network, with the explicit aim of improving communications in the manycore research community, particularly between industry and academia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
Description Manycore workshop at HiPEAC conference 2018 in Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A keynote talk, followed by a series of research presentations. The highlight event was a dragon's den style research competition, with volunteers giving five-minute pitches to a panel of (hypothetical) venture capitalists. A range of interesting ideas included supercomputing clusters on aircraft carriers, time-travelling microprocessors, anticipative Alexa ...
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
Description Reliable, Secure and Scalable Software Systems (RS4) workshop at Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact We discussed the challenges of engineering reliable scalable and secure software (RS4), and some possible approaches to solving them. Some key outcomes and ongoing activities include:

(1) Identification of good research ideas and strategies that address modern software and systems engineering problems;

(2) Using RS4 as a platform to capture some software and systems engineering success stories and challenges from industry and academic viewpoints;

(3) The identification of complementarities and synergies, as well as possibilities for collaboration/results adoptions between industry and academic participants;

(4) More broadly, RS4 was aimed at identifying new challenges and trends to influence the UK and European research agenda, e.g. via the EPSRC MaRIONet and EU HiPEAC Networks. We note that the topic is closely aligned with the EPSRC's newly launched "Safe and Secure ICT" priority.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
Description UK Manycore Developer Conference (UKMAC 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The UK Manycore Developer Conference is an informal day of talks spanning the whole landscape of accelerated, heterogeneous and manycore computing. Topics of interest include high-performance computing, embedded and mobile systems, computational science, finance, computer vision, formal verification, and beyond. The goal of the event is to develop and bring together the UK community of manycore developers, both industrial and academic.

The 2017 event was held on Tuesday 11th July 2017 at the University of Warwick. This is the eighth event in the series.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017