Recent advances in computing architectures and networking are bringing parallel computing systems to the masses so increasing the number of potential users of these kinds of systems. In particular, two important technological evolutions are happening at the ends of the computing spectrum: at the "small" scale, processors now include an increasing number of independent execution units (cores), at the point that a mere CPU can be considered a parallel shared-memory computer; at the "large" scale, the Cloud Computing paradigm allows applications to scale by offering resources from a large pool on a pay-as-you-go model. Multi-core processors and Clouds both require applications to be suitably modified to take advantage of the features they provide. Despite laying at the extreme of the computing architecture spectrum - multi-core processors being at the small scale, and Clouds being at the large scale - they share an important common trait: both are specific forms of parallel/distributed architectures. As such, they present to the developers well known problems of synchronization, communication, workload distribution, and so on. Is parallel and distributed simulation ready for these challenges? In this paper, we analyze the state of the art of parallel and distributed simulation techniques, and assess their applicability to multi-core architectures or Clouds. It turns out that most of the current approaches exhibit limitations in terms of usability and adaptivity which may hinder their application to these new computing architectures. We propose an adaptive simulation mechanism, based on the multi-agent system paradigm, to partially address some of those limitations. While it is unlikely that a single approach will work well on both settings above, we argue that the proposed adaptive mechanism has useful features which make it attractive both in a multi-core processor and in a Cloud system. These features include the ability to reduce communication costs by migrating simulation components, and the support for adding (or removing) nodes to the execution architecture at runtime. We will also show that, with the help of an additional support layer, parallel and distributed simulations can be executed on top of unreliable resources.

New trends in parallel and distributed simulation: From many-cores to Cloud Computing

D'angelo, Gabriele;Marzolla, Moreno
2014

Abstract

Recent advances in computing architectures and networking are bringing parallel computing systems to the masses so increasing the number of potential users of these kinds of systems. In particular, two important technological evolutions are happening at the ends of the computing spectrum: at the "small" scale, processors now include an increasing number of independent execution units (cores), at the point that a mere CPU can be considered a parallel shared-memory computer; at the "large" scale, the Cloud Computing paradigm allows applications to scale by offering resources from a large pool on a pay-as-you-go model. Multi-core processors and Clouds both require applications to be suitably modified to take advantage of the features they provide. Despite laying at the extreme of the computing architecture spectrum - multi-core processors being at the small scale, and Clouds being at the large scale - they share an important common trait: both are specific forms of parallel/distributed architectures. As such, they present to the developers well known problems of synchronization, communication, workload distribution, and so on. Is parallel and distributed simulation ready for these challenges? In this paper, we analyze the state of the art of parallel and distributed simulation techniques, and assess their applicability to multi-core architectures or Clouds. It turns out that most of the current approaches exhibit limitations in terms of usability and adaptivity which may hinder their application to these new computing architectures. We propose an adaptive simulation mechanism, based on the multi-agent system paradigm, to partially address some of those limitations. While it is unlikely that a single approach will work well on both settings above, we argue that the proposed adaptive mechanism has useful features which make it attractive both in a multi-core processor and in a Cloud system. These features include the ability to reduce communication costs by migrating simulation components, and the support for adding (or removing) nodes to the execution architecture at runtime. We will also show that, with the help of an additional support layer, parallel and distributed simulations can be executed on top of unreliable resources.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/320926
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