Internet and Grid-Based Application and Computational Systems

Fall 2002

Instructor - J.C. Browne

The emerging paradigm for execution of large-scale computations, whether they be scientific and engineering computations, large data-intensive calculations, data fusion applications, etc., is to utilize many computers at sites distributed across the Internet. Major computer companies (IBM, Microsoft, Sun, etc.) are developing or adopting systems for implementation of Internet-based computational systems. There are several models of computation for Internet-based computation. Examples of such systems include Globus which is usually used to couple of a small number of very large-scale parallel machines with a program based on MPI. Globus is essentially a resource management system. Another commonly used system is CONDOR which utilizes "farms of workstations." Condor is also a resource management system. A third commonly used model is SETI@home where a very large number of personal computers are utilized in a loosely-coupled mode. There are languages and systems based on so-called coordination models and languages. There are also internet-based systems for collaborative computations.

There are also less developed alternative models of Internet-based computation including true peer-to-peer organization of computations where computations are organized as systems of autonomous but coordinating agents.

There are many open research topics in Internet and Grid-based computation. Strategies and protocols for management of heterogeneous resource systems and computations on them is a central issue. Models and languages for formulation of internet-based systems is another central issue. Adaptation of computations to diverse and dynamic execution environments is largely unstudied.

This seminar will be a study of current research on the models, languages and systems for formulating and executing large-scale Internet-based computations. The lectures will be given by the instructor and by guest lecturers including representatives of TACC, and commercial firms which have developed software for implementation of Internet based applications. Students participating in the seminar will also give presentations on their projects.

Each student participant will be responsible for either evaluation of the state of the art in one research topic or evaluation of one system for development of Internet-based applications. The evaluations development systems for applications will be based on study of the conceptual basis for each system, applications of the system and implementation of and measurement of the behavior of an application implemented in the system.

The class is open to any graduate student in Natural Sciences or Engineering with an interest in internet-based computational systems but approval from the instructor is required. The instructor welcomes inquiries about the course ( Further information can be found at the url