The discipline of High Performance and Distributed Computing (HPDC) historically attempts to solve
computational problems that cannot be solved with the processing power and memory of a single computing
system. The parallel and distributed processing capacity offered by multiprocessors, clusters and
grids over the past decades has been instrumental in tackling computational challenges in science and
engineering. Since the first supercomputer developed in the 1960s, the HPDC discipline has laid the
foundations for making computing systems faster and a catalyst for accelerating scientific discovery.
In the 21st century, the foundations and methods of HPDC are more timely and relevant than ever.
Most computers in our homes and our planet are now sophisticated parallel processing engines. Our
desktops, our laptops, the embedded computers that power mobile phones, tablets, cars, airplanes and
many other artifacts that we use in our everyday lives, as well the servers that process the Exabytes
of data that humanity generates in datacentres, have many processor cores, specialised computational
accelerators and deep memory hierarchies. While parallel computing penetrates each and every computing
device, distributed computing interconnects billions of computing devices into a global computing
ecosystem. Emerging applications and services split their computation and data processing tasks between
mobile devices and datacentres that form computational clouds. Networks of distributed sensors
assume critical missions such as securing our power grids or monitoring physiological indicators in our
bodies. These sensors collect massive amounts of data which are processed in servers, to give meaningful
answers back to millions of users. Once a niche area, HPDC is now ubiquitous and spans the
entire computing ecosystem.
The mission of the HPDC Research Cluster, part of the School of EEECS at Queen's University of
Belfast, is to develop the theoretical foundations, algorithms, hardware and software that will make future
computing systems faster, more resilient, energy efficient and thus friendlier to the environment, sustainable,
and less expensive to operate. The Cluster is committed to making contributions of a foundational
nature, with impact that extends far and beyond the HPDC discipline and Computing Sciences.
The research practice in the cluster balances harmoniously theory, experimentation and deployment:
we develop solutions that we test in the field, on real parallel and distributed systems, some of them with
hardware components built in the lab by ourselves. We develop algorithms, programming languages and
concurrent execution environments that scale from a few up to millions of processing elements. We build
methods to improve the reliability and energy-efficiency of small- and large-scale distributed systems.
A key advantage of our methods is that they jointly consider application for the co-design of hardware
and system software. Our methods and systems are thus applicable to a variety of domains. We support
commercially relevant applications of high societal and economic value. In par with groundbreaking
fundamental and applied research, we are committed to training and mentoring students, early-career
and advanced researchers in the principles and practice of parallel and distributed computing. We provide
unique skill sets that are highly marketable in both industry and academia.
The Cluster has a remarkable and diverse research funding portfolio with a total value that exceeds
£14 million over the last three years. The funded research activities span the areas of many-core programming
languages and systems, programming models for Exascsale systems, energy accounting and
optimisation, micro-servers, datacentre monitoring and optimisation, middleware for large-scale data processing
and stream data processing. We further explore foundational aspects of networked distributed
systems. Our projects involve 26 academic partners, 16 industrial partners, and 4 supercomputing centres,
from 14 countries. Our team includes members with accolades such as Marie Curie Fellowship,
Newton Fellowship, NSF & DOE Career Award, EPSRC First Grant, IBM Faculty Award, and numerous
Best Paper Awards.
We invite you to explore our web pages and welcome contacts from academic or industrial partners
for exploring collaborations.