Durham, Bristol and Bath Universities take part in the OCF Challenge

Posted by SambaNova Systems on December 17, 2021

Durham, Bristol and Bath Universities take part in the OCF Challenge

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Last week, participants at the second CIUK Cluster Challenge were given an AI-based challenge. Held before the annual Computing Insights UK conference, organised by the UK Scientific Technology Facilities Council, the challenge was a friendly competition between universities to showcase the skills and resourcefulness of their students when faced with ever changing challenges.

In support of the competition, SambaNova Systems was the technology of choice for the OCF Challenge. During the challenge, teams from Bristol/Bath and Durham were first guided through the practical use of the SambaNova AI platform. They then had to optimise a given AI model to improve its accuracy, within certain guidelines. Making things even more challenging, there was an upper boundary to the amount of compute time. This enabled the teams to show that improving the model’s architecture could yield greater accuracy gains compared to simply training the model for a longer time.

The competition was very close, with Durham taking the top slot in the OCF challenge on SambaNova, however Bristol/Bath won the overall competition which included other HPC workloads.

To facilitate the challenge, the SambaNova system was hosted by ORock Technologies, a cloud service provider that brings secure technology access to clients. SambaNova’s Martin Mueller acted as technical mentor during the challenge and stated that  “Both teams were well prepared and disciplined, and the ORock infrastructure worked without a hiccup”.  Vasilis Kapsalis, also from SambaNova commented further that “It was great to see the students from the Durham and Bristol/Bath University teams getting hands-on experience with SambaNova’s tools; optimising the accuracy of an AI model on our innovative Dataflow architecture.”

“We always look forward to collaborating with our valued partners. Events like the CIUK Cluster Challenge showcase the technology available and the enthusiasm that students genuinely have for it.” said Laurence Horrocks-Barlow, Technical Director at OCF Limited.

On behalf of  OCF Limited, SambaNova and ORock Technologies, we congratulate the student teams from  Bristol/Bath and Durham. These competitions provide unique environments to test the realm of AI with up and coming AI/ML/DL experts.

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