Approximate and Transprecision Computing on Emerging Technologies (ATCET)


Dr. Costas Bekas
Dr Cristiano Malossi
Prof. Luca Benini
Prof. Enrique S. Quintana-Ortí
Prof. Dimitrios S. Nikolopoulos

Approximate and Transprecision Computing on Emerging Technologies (ATCET)

In the last 10 years, the demand for new computing strategies driven by energy-efficiency has grown exponentially. Flop-per-watt (thus, per-euro) has become de-facto a driving model in hardware design. Results in this direction have been significant, leveraging first multi-core parallelism and then recently moving toward heterogeneous architectures (e.g., multicore CPU coupled with GP-GPUs). However, these evolutions will not be sufficient in the long term. To maintain an exponential increase in computational efficiency, we will need to rely either on an unlikely breakthrough discovery in hardware technology, or on a fundamental change in computing paradigms.

This workshop is dedicated to experts who explore approximation in hardware and software from both a statistical and a deterministic viewpoint, as a computing paradigm shift to break the current performance and energy-efficiency barriers of systems at all scales, from sensors to supercomputers. Approximate computing is a viable method for building more efficient, scalable and sustainable systems. However, it also places formidable challenges across the entire computing software and hardware stack. Addressing these challenges requires balanced expertise in mathematics, algorithms, software, architecture design and emerging computing platforms. The objective of this workshop is to bring together experts across these areas to present the latest findings and discuss future opportunities for approximate computing. In more detail, the workshop will cover the following areas:

  1. Approximate and transprecision computing: from the physical limits to the architecture and circuit design; from the algorithm design to the error analysis; from innovative technology to real applications.
  2. Programming abstractions: from structured and disciplined approximation in computation, communication and data transfers, to quality control and techniques to recover from over-approximation.
  3. Computing platforms: from tiny low-power devices for IoT applications, up to classical HPC systems embedding imprecise massively parallel accelerator.
  4. Applications: examples from data analytics, machine learning, deep learning, and scientific computing, where uncompromised quality with scalable order-of-magnitude time- and energy-to-solution reduction is reachable relying on approximation for a significant amount of calculations.

Key Topics

The workshop will cover the following key topics:

  • Beyond Moore’s law
  • Future challenges for programming models and languages
  • Exascale Systems

The workshop provides an opportunity to have in-depth discussions, presentations, and interactions on these topics. This will promote future collaborations and better coordination around the development on approximate and transprecision computing techniques.

Expected Outcomes

  • Promote research and development in approximate and transprecision computing
  • Align developments in algorithms, software, and hardware design towards unified and successful platforms for approximate and transprecision computing
  • Foster a common discussion across multiple disciplines
  • Raise energy-awareness in the big data community as well as in HPC
  • Promote collaboration between academia, industry and SMEs
  • Strengthen the community in energy efficient computing


The workshop will be held in the morning of June 28th, between 9:00 and 13:00.
The format consists of an opening Keynote by Piotr Luszczek, Research Director at the University of Tennessee, followed by a sequence of contributed talks.

The full agenda is detailed in the following table.


Time Type of Talk Authors Title
09:00 09:10 Opening / Introduction
09:10 10:00 Keynote Talk Piotr Luszczek “Title Towards Numerical Benchmark for Half-Precision Floating Point Arithmetic”
10:00 10:30 Contributed Talk 1 Konstantinos Parasyris, Nikolaos Bellas, Christos Antonopoulos and Spyros Lalis “Exploring the Effects of Code Optimizations on CPU Frequency Margins”
10:30 11:00 Contributed Talk 2 Michael Bromberger and Wolfgang Karl “A Transparent View On Approximate Computing Methods For Tuning Applications”
11:00 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 12:00 Contributed Talk 3 Hartwig Anzt, Goran Flegar, Vedran Novakovic, Enrique S. Quintana-Orti and Andres Tomas “Residual Replacement in Mixed-Precision Iterative Refinement for Sparse Linear Systems”
12:00 12:30 Contributed Talk 4 Albert N. Kahira, Leonardo Arturo Bautista Gomez and Rosa M. Badia “Training Deep Neural Networks with Low Precision Input Data: A Hurricane Prediction Case Study”
12:30 13:00 Contributed Talk 5 Giulia Stazi, Lorenzo Adani, Antonio Mastrandrea, Mauro Olivieri and Francesco Menichelli “Impact of Approximate Memory Data Allocation on a H.264 Software Video Encoder”


Important Dates

  • Call for papers in now open.

  • Full Paper Submission: 11 May 2018 (AoE) (extended deadline)
  • Paper acceptance notification: 18 May 2018 (AoE) (extended deadline)

  • Camera ready papers due 22 June 2018

  • Workshop day: 28 June 2018

Information for authors

Special Issue

Authors of best papers will be invited to submit an extended version of the paper in a journal to be determined.

Organising Committee and Contacts

Cristiano Malossi
IBM Research GmbH
Zürich, Switzerland
Costas Bekas
IBM Research GmbH
Zürich, Switzerland
Luca Benini
ETH Zürich
Enrique S. Quintana Ortí
University Jaume I
Castellon, Spain
Dimitrios S. Nikolopoulos

Program Committee Members