You are here

Predicting the next Top500 list

(yes, it's been a while)

Two weeks ago, one of my colleagues mentioned the Top500 predict website to me, a game in which you need to predict the next Top500 list of supercomputers, which is due in November 2011.

In the game, you receive a number of credits (12K in total, if you provide some personal details) that you can spend in bets. Each bet concerns some feature of the Top500 list, and betting is done by predicting that particular feature and betting a number of credits on that prediction. For most features, you need to specify an interval instead of just a fixed value.

The interesting aspect is that the narrower you specify the interval the more your bet may return, but of course also the bigger the chance is that the actual value drops outside the interval you specified. Competing in the game is absolutely free; although it concerns betting, no real money is involved at all (e.g. you can't buy additional credits to bet with). The winner of the game does win an iPad2 though...

I decided to take this game seriously instead of just entering bets straight away. The same evening I had some free time on my hands, and I studied the Top500 lists of the past couple of years in terms of the features to predict. After a couple of hours, I was confident that I could place well-informed bets that had a good chance of being correct. In this post I'll briefly discuss each of those bets, describing the reasoning behind the respective bets I placed. Feel free to disagree with me.

Predicting the future top supercomputer

Let's look at the bets involving the future top supercomputer first, which involve three features: overall performance obtained for the LINPACK benchmark (RMax), country hosting the top system and power consumption of that system.

In the last two editions of the Top500 list, Japan (Nov. 2010) and China (June 2011) hosted the top supercomputer. This heavily contrasts with prior lists, in which the USA was firmly on top for 12 editions in a row (since Nov. 2004). Both Japan and China came up with significantly better performing systems compared to the former champion. The Japanese Tianhe-1A system, which heavily relies on GPUs to boost performance, currently has a peak performance of 2.57 petaflops, while the most recent Japanese champion, the K computer, has an Rmax of 8.16 petaflops. Both offer significantly more performance than the 1.76 petaflops of the Jaguar (USA) which topped the June 2010 list.

Especially the huge performance improvement of the K computer in the most recent edition of the Top500 list makes me think that no system will be able to beat the current champion in the next edition. The USA has two large systems in the pipeline, Mira (~10 petaflops) and Sequoia (~20 petaflops), but these won't be ready until early 2012 according to latest news. The cancellation of the Blue Waters project by IBM only makes me more confident. I'm unaware of other systems that might compete with the K computer (but I may be missing some).

Thus, predicting these three features is fairly easy under that assumption: pick Japan as the country which will host the next top supercomputer, and choose the intervals for both performance in terms of Rmax and power consumption fairly narrow to just contain the current values. If the K computer does indeed stay on top, this results in a huge return: ~23.7K credits for 4.5K of credits spent. If I'm wrong however, I lose over 1/3 of my total budget, so this group of bets is kind of a game changer for me.

  • RMax of Top 1 Machine

    my bet: 8 - 9 PFLOPS (2K, return: 12.6K)

  • Country with the Top 1 Supercomputer

    my bet: Japan (1.5K, return: 6.5K)

  • Power Consumption of the Top 1 Machine

    my bet: 9 - 12MWatt (1K, return: 4.6K)

Predicting national performance development

Another group of features-to-predict involve overall performance development for three selected countries: Germany, China and USA. This involves the ratio of the total Rmax (sum over all systems of that country) over that of the previous list. A bit of a dubious measure, as adding or removing one single system might may a big difference, but hey...

A little analysis of the performance gain of consecutive editions of the Top500 list showed that this is a particulary hard feature to predict. Over the years, the ratios vary wildly, and no real trend can be found. China has shown remarkable progress by improving the total sum of Rmax values by more than 75% three times in a row (Nov. 2009 - Nov. 2010). In general however the performance ratios are usually somewhere around 1.2, i.e. about 20% more total Rmax compared to a the previous Top500 list.

Making accurate predictions for these features is very difficult (if not impossible), so I chose to enter fairly large intervals. Naturally this results in lower returns, but I hope I can avoid to lose the credits I bet this way. If the actual ratios are in the specified intervals for each country respectively, this group of bets can get me a total return of 11.7K credits.

  • Performance Development Germany

    my bet: 15 - 35% (1K, return: 4K)

  • Performance Development China

    my bet: 25 - 50% (1K, return: 3.2K)

  • Performance Development USA

    my bet: 15 - 30% (1K, return: 4.5K)

Amount of systems using GPUs

To estimate how many systems will rely on GPUs, I didn't spend much time studying the evolution in previous editions of the Top500 list.
Although GPUs have been around for quite some time, only recently have they been actively used in supercomputers for general-purpose computing instead of high-quality graphics. The June 2011 edition of the list featured only 14 systems (partially) powered by GPUs, as far as I can tell from the raw data available from the Top500 website.

In my view, GPU-powered systems won't take over the Top500 list just yet. GPUs are still an add-on to more traditional compute powered delivered by CPUs, are not easy to use because they require specialized knowledge (e.g. involving data locality and languages like CUDA, OpenCL, ...), and are only applicable to certain types of applications.

Therefore, I picked an interval on the lower end of the spectrum, with a maximum of 40 systems using GPUs. I highly doubt the actual value will go over 25, but I opted for a safe bet on this one.

  • my bet: 10 - 40 (1K, return: 9.3K)

Replacement Rate

Predicting the replacement rate involves how many systems will be replaced by new ones, and thus how many systems will drop out of the June 2011 edition of the list. Again, historical data showed that this is fairly hard to predict.

On average about 45% of systems got replaced over the past couple of years, but there's a significant amount of variation between editions of the list (from 29% up to 60%). Therefore, again, a fairly safe bet by specifying a wide interval, and a fairly low return resulting from that.

  • my bet: 25 - 50% (1K, return: 3.3K)

Total Sum of RMax Value

One feature that does show a strong trend is the total sum of Rmax over the entire list. For the June 2011 edition a total of 58.93 petaflops was reached, and on average an increase between edition of about 35% is observed.

I slightly adjusted my prediction to less though, because the highest performing system of the last edition was responsible for 14% of the total Rmax. And since I don't expect the top supercomputer to change in November, I anticipate the increase in total Rmax will be slightly lower this time.

  • my bet: 64 - 70 PFLOPS (1.5K, return: >5.1K)

Entry Level

The last feature to predict is the entry level Rmax, in other words the minimal LINPACK performance a system needs to deliver to be mentioned in the Top500 list.
This is also a feature which shows a fairly strong trend over time: on average, an increase of about 34% is observed.

The previous edition had an entry level Rmax of 40.19 teraflops, and because of a slightly lower increase in entry level Rmax in the most recent editions of the list, I also adjusted my prediction a bit downward. The interval is fairly small, which is a risk but one with a potentially large return.

  • my bet: 45 - 50 TFLOPS (1K, return: 9.3K)


Whether my predictions turn out to be right or not, figuring out how to make decent predictions for the next Top500 list was fun. The competitive aspect makes it more interesting, and overall it's a cool experiment to try and see how predictable the list really is.

The current rankings (with me on top at the time of writing) are not really indicative for how the final rankings will look like. The net worth used to rank competitors only evaluates how good your predictions match those of others. However, it's not because a large part of the users predicts a feature in a particular way that the actual value will match those predictions. The creators of the competition hope that "the wisdom of the masses" will make the predictions match the actual values closely. Let's see how that turns out...


Photos motorcycle helmet will be the novelty helmet. They're just like half helmets in vogue and features. There're comparatively smaller because of their lesser inner liner. They usually are cheaply produced, not certified, and provides minimal protection throughout accidents. Really the only exceptions are the novelty helmets which might be DOT certified.

І lіke the vаluablе infoгmatіon уou provide in your
аrticles. Ι will booκmark your weblog
аnd checκ agаіn hеre fгequently.
I am quite certain I'll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

Here is my web page Peter

I am very happy to find this blog.Thanks for creating the page! Im positive that it will be very popular. It has good and valuable content which is very rare these days.
<a href="">BossWallpapers</a>

Things don't have to change the world to be important.
book review services

Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome Great work. Bandar Bola Ibcbet

Buy high pagerank Backlinks Beessies, minivoetbaltafels en vuvuzela’s maken. En dat ze ondertussen alles wat groen, duurzaam en milieuvriendelijk is in de bonus doen.

I read this piece of writing completely concerning the difference of most
recent and earlier technologies, it's awesome article.

Also visit my web page :: how to get youtube views

The love of beauty in its multiple forms is the noblest gift of the human cerebrum.
Timber Merchants Liverpool

I am so much excited after reading your blog. Your blog is very much innovative and much helpful for any industry as well as for person. If you want to know about Devon Stone

Hola! I've been following your blog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Texas! propolis benefits for acne It's appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could, I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips.

I had trouble following what this article was about, but your grammar is exceptional. link link link link link link link link link link

The first criteria is type of business. Generally, business brokers specialize in “Main Streets types of businesses such as dry cleaners, gas stations, restaurants, and convenience stores. M&A advisors specialize in more B2B types of businesses such
Boneka Full Body Elektrik
Agen Kondom Duri Silikon
Agen Obat Kuat Herbal
Obat Perangsang Wanita
Obat Perangsang Wanita
Importir Obat Kuat
Agen Obat Plus
Boss Obat Kuat
Obat Pembesar Mr.P
Vacum Pembesar Mr.P
Obat Pembesar Mr.P
Obat Pembesar Mr.P

of course like your web-site but you need to test the spelling on several of your posts.
A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome
to tell the truth then again I will certainly come back again.

Look at my web-site ... mlm success-the blazing top 52 mlm

We don't get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we've chosen to do with our life.
Pension Annuities

I'm an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honorable, and some of them are really smart. I have a very optimistic view of individuals.
grammar check online free

I like what your blog stands for. this is my first time and here and I am pleased that i was able to find such an excellent resource for travel information. i have bookmarked your site and will be back to what new blog posts you create moving forward.Double Glazing Preston

"I like this article. It writes very well. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be back."SEO Leeds

When virtue and modesty enlighten her charms, the lustre of a beautiful woman is brighter than the stars of heaven, and the influence of her power it is in vain to resist.
Small Business SEO

My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
coffee bean extract

Very interestingblog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'minterested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thoughtthat I would post and let you know.Buy Facebook Fans

The plainer the dress, the greater luster does beauty appear.
Buy Meridia Online

When virtue and modesty enlighten her charms, the lustre of a beautiful woman is brighter than the stars of heaven, and the influence of her power it is in vain to resist.
Buy Zopiclone Online

You can't really say what is beautiful about a place, but the image of the place will remain vividly with you.
Door Frames

You can't really say what is beautiful about a place, but the image of the place will remain vividly with you.
SEO Manchester

You can't really say what is beautiful about a place, but the image of the place will remain vividly with you.
Tablet Covers

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.
Buy Facebook Fans

This piece of information is very great and I really thankful for that one. It helps me a lot and I really admire this post. It was very awesome. order essays online

Really awesome work with the blog. I do like your hard work on and will wait for more post as from you as post gave me pleasure and gives some helps to do same work right here. Thanks a lot
Visit Site | Visit Site | Visit Site | Visit Site | Visit Site | Visit Site | Visit Site | Visit Site | Visit Site | Visit Site

Though beauty gives you a weird sense of entitlement, it's rather frightening and threatening to have others ascribe such importance to something you know you're just renting for a while.
Buy Facebook Fans

There is no definition of beauty, but when you can see someone's spirit coming through, something unexplainable, that's beautiful to me.
Buy Zopiclone

When everything else physical and mental seems to diminish, the appreciation of beauty is on the increase.
iPhone Case

There is hope and a kind of beauty in there somewhere, if you look for it.
SEO Leeds

What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things.
Tablet Covers

This deѕign is wіckeԁ! You definitеly
know how to keeρ a reaԁеr еntertainеd.
Вetween your wit and your videos, I wаs almost movеd to start
my own blog (well, almost...HaНa!) Wonderful job.
I гeally lοvеd what you had to say, and moгe than that,
how you ρгesented it. Too cool!

Here is my site course resultat pmu

I was really impressed. This is really interesting topic, I'll write a paper on it or probably I'll just buy essay . Thank you very much! Welcome-Finance-Online , Arnozan Finances Immobilier , Chemical Free Homes , Cyprus-Home-Exchanges , Nor-Auto-Experts , Sand-Piper-Auto , Games-For-The-Garden , Blood-Knights-Game , Eat-For-Education-Roanoke , Arizona-Parents-For-Education

The connections that you make early in your career will take you far. After 20 years it is still true for me. This has been true regarding companies I worked for and those I worked with. All you have written is excellent advice.

rocky army combat uniform compliant boots
Innovation has nothing to do with how many R amp&; D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.

Buy Instagram Followers
The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.

Find Inspiring Quotes On Facebook. It's Quick, Easy & Free. Join Now!
cna practice test

Intuition will allow accessing the ideas ordinarily not
present to our senses. Refer to it as a still voice, a
hint or a gut feeling - once it starts occurring you will know it's no fluke.!
Dowsing is a process anyone can use to access the intuition working with dowsing pendulum as well as divining rod.
I've been practicing it for a number of years and I do believe anybody
can easily learn it.

Review my homepage ...

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
savoir noir du maroc

Nettoyage ile de france
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

When you're young, you look at television and think, there's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. | | | | | | | | | |

This revolution, the information revoultion, is a revolution of free energy as well, but of another kind: free intellectual energy. It's very crude today, yet our Macintosh computer takes less power than a 100-watt bulb to run it and it can save you hours a day. What will it be able to do ten or 20 years from now, or 50 years from now?
buy steroids

Wаy coοl! Some vегy ѵalіd pοints!

I apргeciatе уou ρenning
this articlе аnd аlѕo the rest of the website is also really

Herе is my blοg; commercial electricians rochester

I am looking both for blogs that give unbiased, balanced commentary on all issues or blogs that have a liberal or left-wing slant. Thank you..

I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet visitors, its really
really pleasant paragraph on building up new webpage.

Stop by my blog click here

When you're young, you look at television and think, there's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. | | | | | | | | | |


Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Back to top