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Capability Incentives

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Codes will be reviewed by the science support staff, and awarded a "Seal of Approval" at three different levels, authorising them for different levels of discount. An important criterion in deciding the level for a code will be its ability to scale satisfactorily on different numbers of processors. In order to achieve the scaling requirements a doubling of processor numbers must result in a speed up of at least 1.7 (based on wallclock time).

Level Number of Processors Discount
Bronze 256 5%
Silver 512 15%
Gold 1024 30%

Thus, a code with a Gold Seal of Approval running in 1024 processors will be charged only 70% of the time it uses. Jobs making use of 512 and 1024 processors will count as "capability jobs", and so will receive these significant discounts. 256-processor jobs will receive a small discount principally as an encouragement to move to the higher levels. We would expect to agree the discounts with EPSRC on an annual basis.

A code will not be prohibited from using more processors than its "Seal of Approval" rating; it will simply not receive a discount.

If there is any disagreement on our decision on awarding a Seal of Approval, we would abide by the decision of EPSRC.

Certain kinds of bad practice are clearly open to users, including running codes which have no "Seal of Approval" disguised as ones that do. To a large extent we will have to trust users not to do this, and we will expect PIs and other consortium members to share responsibility for ensuring that this sort of thing does not happen.

Further details are available, including a list of existing Seals of Approval, how to use them and how to apply for a new one.

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