Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis (Ph.D.)


Department of Computer Science


High-performance computing increasingly occurs on "computational grids" composed of heterogeneous and geographically distributed systems of computers, networks, and storage devices that collectively act as a single "virtual" computer. A key challenge in this environment is to provide efficient access to data distributed across remote data servers. This dissertation explores some of the issues associated with I/O for wide-area distributed computing and describes an I/O system, called Armada, with the following features: a framework to allow application and dataset providers to flexibly compose graphs of processing modules that describe the distribution, application interfaces, and processing required of the dataset before or after computation; an algorithm to restructure application graphs to increase parallelism and to improve network performance in a wide-area network; and a hierarchical graph-partitioning scheme that deploys components of the application graph in a way that is both beneficial to the application and sensitive to the administrative policies of the different administrative domains. Experiments show that applications using Armada perform well in both low- and high-bandwidth environments, and that our approach does an exceptional job of hiding the network latency inherent in grid computing.


Originally posted in the Dartmouth College Computer Science Technical Report Series, number TR2003-459.