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Distributing tasks

 
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In distributed application frameworks, how do they split up tasks to be assigned for different CPUs and then amalgamate the results back?
 
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Now that is what I call a nice broad topic!

Personally I am rather fond of the Javaspaces approach to distributing tasks but there are plenty of others. You might start by browsing at this Jini website.

This wikipedia article on Grid Computing is a pretty broad survey too.

Bill
 
Yohan Liyanage
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Thanks Bill.

I looked into Jini as you suggested. Yes, Jini and Javaspaces are an awesome way to distribute tasks. What I dont understand is how those middleware applications distribute the tasks. Say for example, if I have a process which requires a lot of computation, how do they split it out to pieces and then add the results together to get the final answer?
 
William Brogden
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how do they split it out to pieces and then add the results together to get the final answer?



Well, that is the central part of the problem for sure. I think each problem domain will have a different solution.

For example, the SETI and Protein folding etc. distributed computing projects hand out self contained packages of data. The main management problem is to make sure that every data package gets completed by somebody and tolerates some duplication. Then there are tightly coupled systems like weather simulations where all data from one step must be combined before the next step can be taken.

I wrote this article which trys to classify the different styles of "grid" computing.

Bill
 
Yohan Liyanage
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Thanks again Bill. I read your article and it was really useful to me. I'm new to the topic of Distributed Computing, but I like it a lot. I'm hoping to build a Java-based Grid Application Framework as my BSc final year project, but still dont have enough knowledge. I would appreciate if you could recommend good books to refer to.

Thanks.

- Yohan
 
William Brogden
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Books - in spite of "grid computing" being a hot topic, all the general books seem to be a few years old. The Javaspaces book I used is now 8 years out of date and may be out of print.

I think you are going to be spending a lot of time doing web searches and following up technical papers! Enjoy!

Bill
 
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Hmm. Seems like there is no easy way....
 
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