Computer Science Colloquium

Taming Lambda's for Applications: The OptIPuter System Software

Andrew A. Chien
Computer Science and Engineering and Center for Networked Systems University of California, San Diego

Tuesday, June 15, 2004 11:30 A.M.
Room 1302 Warren Weaver Hall
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012-1185

Colloquium Information:


Vijay Karamcheti, (212) 998-3496


Dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM), dark fiber, and low-cost optical switches provide the technological capability for private, high bandwidth communication. However, achieving any substantial application benefit from use of these resources is dauntingly complex and error prone. These emerging environments are often called lambda grids.

We are developing a simple abstraction called a Distributed Virtual Computer (DVC), which provides convenient application use of dynamic optical resources. DVC descriptions naturally express communication and computation resource requirements, enabling coordinated resource binding. In addition, their shared namespace provides a natural vehicle for incorporating a range of novel capabilities, including novel transport protocols which expose and exploit the capabilities DWDM environment, including efficient multi-point to point (GTP), optical multicast, real-time communication, and fast point to point transports. DVC's also provide a convenient model for integrating a wide array of network-attached instruments and storage. We will describe initial experience with DVC's and how they provide an integrating architecture for lambda grids.

The OptIPuter project is a large multi-institutional project led by Larry Smarr at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Tom DeFanti at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Other software efforts include optical signaling software, visualization, distributed configuration management, and two driving applications involving petabytes of data (in conjunction with the Biomedical Informatics Research Network and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography). The project also includes construction of a high speed OptIPuter testbed spanning UCSD and UIC.

Biographical Information

ANDREW A. CHIEN is the Director of the Center for Networked Systems and the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) Chair Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Andrew's research and technology expertise includes grids, distributed computing, networks, communication software, distributed systems, middleware, operating systems, compilers and computer architecture. Current projects include Software Architect for the OptIPuter project, the Virtual Grid Application Development Software (VGrADS) project, and the MicroGrid. He is a leader in the Global Grid Forum, TeraGrid, San Diego Supercomputing Center, and the OptIPuter project. Previous affiliations include Entropia, the University of Illinois, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his S.B., S.M., and Sc.D. degrees all from M.I.T. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his research.

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