Prof. Henri Casanova, in collaboration with Prof. Rafael Ferreira da Silva at USC, has received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for supporting a project entitled: “Simulation-driven Evaluation of Cyberinfrastructure Systems”.
Project abstract: The Cyberinfrastructure has been the object of intensive research and development, resulting in a rich set of interoperable software systems that are used to support science. A key challenge is the development of systems that can execute application workloads efficiently, while anticipating future Cyberinfrastructure opportunities and needs. This project aims to transform the way in which these systems are evaluated, so that their capabilities can be evolved based on a sound, quantitative experimental science approach. The traditional evaluation approach is to use full-fledged software stacks to execute application workloads on actual Cyberinfrastructure deployments. Unfortunately, this approach suffers from several shortcomings: real-world experiments are time- and labor-intensive, and they are limited to currently available hardware and software configurations. An alternative to real-world experiments that does not suffer from these shortcomings is simulation, i.e., the implementation and use of a software artifact that models the functional and performance behaviors of software and hardware stacks of interest. This project uses simulation to transform the way in which Cyberinfrastructure systems are evaluated as part of their long-term development cycles. This is achieved via software elements for enhancing production Cyberinfrastructure systems with simulation capabilities so as to enable quantitative evaluation of these systems for arbitrary execution scenarios. Creating these scenarios requires little labor, and executions can be simulated accurately and orders of magnitude faster than their real-world counterparts. Furthermore, simulations are perfectly reproducible and observable. While this approach is general, its effectiveness will be demonstrated by applying it to a number of production systems, namely, workflow management systems. This project capitalizes on the years of development invested in the SimGrid (https://simgrid.org) and WRENCH (https://wrench-project.org) simulation frameworks.