Distributed Computing Applications

Theme leader: Associate Professor Bing Bing Zhou

The main aim of this theme is to extend the power of distributed and high performance computing to influence research in other disciplines. We also feel that such influence can be better achieved by making experimentation as the key pillar to support all research activities. This is very crucial because it will lead to the establishment of well-tested and documented libraries of routines and instances that can bridge the gap between practitioner and theoretician. Experimentation will also help form a deeper understanding of existing algorithms and highlight areas where more concerted research is most needed. However, any valuable experimentation should be motivated by practical concerns and these can only be defined with the existence of sets of rich applications.

We also view experimentation as a step that will facilitate technology transfer by providing leading edge implementations of algorithms for others to adapt. There is great need for distributed computing researchers to focus on experimentation and usability in order to facilitate the transfer of valuable ideas from the field of distributed computing to application domains. The Centre focuses on the study of parallel and distributed algorithms by combining experimental studies with traditional theoretical analyses. Experimentation is an indispensable component in the assessment of heuristics for hard problems, in the comparison of competing designs for tractable problems, in the formulation of new ideas, and in the evaluation of optimisation criteria in a multitude of applications.

This theme is further facilitated by the availability of a range of resources. The availability of vast computing capabilities in the Centre (e.g. clusters, shared-memory systems, grid and cloud environments) enables researchers to implement compute-intensive algorithms and simulations.