CAREER: Recipe for the Taming of a Chimaera: Toward No-Futz Computing

Project Details


Today's enterprise computing environments resemble the mythological chimaera: they are comprised of heterogeneous devices, ranging from PDAs to servers, which individually presents distinct, fragmented views of available data and services. To exacerbate the problem, devices are often managed by individuals with different interests and expertise. Thus, the parts are not even coordinated by a single brain! Unsurprisingly, these monsters are hard to use and maintain.

This project is exploring two ingredients for the taming of these monsters: a peer-to-peer (P2P) file system and a decentralized coordination mechanism. The file system serves to unify the fragmented data views of devices into a global namespace, providing device-independent name and content addressing. Underneath the global view, the file system continually monitors device characteristics and user behaviors, and automatically adapts the replication and placement of data to achieve specified availability and durability targets.

The coordination mechanism serves to govern the interactions between components within a decentralized system according to explicitly specified policies. Critically, this mechanism is based on an intrinsically decentralized system called Law Governed Interactions (LGI). This work explores the applicability of LGI to the above P2P file system and the experimental use of the resulting integrated system in the computing infrastructure of the Rutgers Computer Science Department.

The expected outcome of the project is a demonstration of how P2P technologies can be used to build powerful and flexible, yet low-futz enterprise computing systems. The project will also produce two prototype building blocks that can be used for future investigations of decentralized systems.

Effective start/end date3/1/0512/31/11


  • National Science Foundation: $416,000.00


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