Project Team Graal

Overall Objectives
Scientific Foundations
Application Domains
New Results
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Algorithms and Software Architectures for Service Oriented Platforms

Participants : Daniel Balouek, Nicolas Bard, Julien Bigot, Yves Caniou, Eddy Caron, Florent Chuffart, Simon Delamare, Frédéric Desprez, Gilles Fedak, Sylvain Gault, Haiwu He, Cristian Klein, Georges Markomanolis, Adrian Muresan, Christian Pérez, Vincent Pichon, Jonathan Rouzaud-Cornabas, Anthony Simonet, José Saray, Bing Tang.

Parallel constraint-based local search

Constraint Programming emerged in the late 1980's as a successful paradigm to tackle complex combinatorial problems in a declarative manner. It is somehow at the crossroads of combinatorial optimization, constraint satisfaction problems (CSP), declarative programming language and SAT problems (boolean constraint solvers and verification tools). Up to now, the only parallel method to solve optimization problems being deployed at large scale is the classical branch and bound, because it does not require much information to be communicated between parallel processes (basically: the current bound).

Adaptive Search was proposed by [86] , [87] as a generic, domain-independent constraint-based local search method. This meta-heuristic takes advantage of the structure of the problem in terms of constraints and variables and can guide the search more precisely than a single global cost function to optimize, such as for instance the number of violated constraints. A parallelization of this algorithm based on threads realized on IBM BladeCenter with 16 Cell/BE cores show nearly ideal linear speed-ups for a variety of classical CSP benchmarks (magic squares, all-interval series, perfect square packing, etc.).

We parallelized the algorithm using the multi-start approach and realized experiments on the HA8000 machine, an Hitachi supercomputer with a maximum of nearly 16000 cores installed at University of Tokyo, and on the Grid'5000 infrastructure, the French national Grid for the research, which contains 8612 cores deployed on 11 sites distributed in France. Results show that speedups may surprisingly be architecture and problem dependant. Work in progress considers communications between each computing resource, and a new problem (costa) has been tested for its capability to have an exponentional distribution of its time to complete on a sequential resolution.

Service Discovery in Peer-to-Peer environments

In 2010 we experimentally validated the scalability of the Spades Based Middleware (SBAM). SBAM is an auto-stabilized P2P middleware designed for the service discovery. The context of this development is the ANR SPADES project (see Section  8.2.2 ). In 2011, we wanted to guaranty truthfulness of information exchanged between SBAM-agents. In this context, the implementation of an efficient mechanism ensuring quality of large scale service discovery became a challenge. In collaboration with LIP6 team we developed a self stabilized model called CoPIF and we implemented it in SBAM using synchronous message exchange between agents. Indeed, when a node has to read its neighbor states, it sends a message to each and wait all response. Despite the fact that this kind of implementation is expensive, especially on a large distributed data structure, experiment shown that our model implementation stay efficient, even on a huge prefix tree. We use this broadcast mechanism not only to check the truthfulness of the distributed data structure but also to propagate activation of services on the entire SPADES platform. For the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 we plan to work on experimental evaluation of a self-stabilization inspired fault tolerance mechanism. We do this through a collaboration with Myriads team at Rennes.

Moreover, in the occasion of demonstration session of IEEE P2P'2011, we introduced the feasibility of multisite resources aggregation, thanks to SBAM, we ran SBAM on up to 200 peers (we generated machine volatility in order to show the self-stabilization) on 50 physical nodes of Grid’5000 to demonstrate the scalability of multi sites, self-stabilization good performance of our P2P middleware SBAM.


In 2011, The DIET WebBoard (a web interface to manage the Décrypthon Grid through the DIET middleware) only received bugfixes and a few new features: the possibility to use a totally customized command to call the DIET client, improved support for multiprocessor tasks, and a basic support for replication of tasks (possibility to launch “clones" of an important task, in order to increase the probability of having a successful result). We deployed the new versions of the DIET Webboard on the Décrypthon university grid whenever we made changes to it.

In 2011, we started to port the Rhénovia application (a neuron simulation program in Java and python) on the Décrypthon grid.

The “Help cure muscular dystrophy, phase 2” program that we submitted to the world community grid was still in progress, we received large amounts of result files every day. We had to do the sorting of these files, checking, compressing and moving them to a long term storage space on a regular basis. We also made statistics for the internet users: . The last update was on 2011 June 27th: 76.67%.

Scheduling Applications with a Complex Structure

Non-predictably evolving applications are applications that change their resource requirements during execution. These applications exist, for example, as a result of using adaptive numeric methods, such as adaptive mesh refinement and adaptive particle methods. Increasing interest is being shown to have such applications acquire resources on the fly. However, current HPC Resource Management Systems (RMSs) only allow a static allocation of resources, which cannot be changed after it started. Therefore, non-predictably evolving applications cannot make efficient use of HPC resources, being forced to make an allocation based on their maximum expected requirements.

In 2011, we have revisited CooRM , an RMS targeting moldable application, and extended it to CooRM v2, an RMS which supports efficient scheduling of non-predictably evolving applications. An application can make “pre-allocations” to specify its peak resource usage. The application can then dynamically allocate resources as long as the pre-allocation is not outgrown. Resources which are pre-allocated but not used, can be filled by other applications. Results show that the approach is feasible and leads to a more efficient resource usage while guaranteeing that resource allocations are always satisfied.

As future work, we plan to extend CooRM v2 for non-homogeneous clusters, for example, for supercomputers that feature a non-homogeneous network. Moreover, we would like to apply the concepts proposed by CooRM v2 to large scale resource managers such as XtreemOS.

High Level Component Model

Most software component models focus on the reuse of existing pieces of code called primitive components. There are however many other elements that can be reused in component-based applications. Partial assemblies of components, well defined interactions between components and existing composition patterns (a.k.a. software skeletons) are examples of such reusable elements. It turns out that such elements of reuse are important for parallel and distributed applications. Therefore, we have designed High Level Component Model (HLCM), a software component model that supports the reuse of these elements thanks to the concepts of hierarchy, genericity and connectors—and in particular the novel concepts of open connection.

In 2011, we have developped two specific implemtations of HLCM : L2C for for C++, MPI and CORBA based applications and Gluon++ for Charm++ based applications in collaboration with Prof. Kale's team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. L2C was used to study how HLCM may simplify the development of domain decomposition applications. Gluon++ was in particular used to study the performance portability of FFT library on various kind of machines. Moreover, on going work includes the study of the benefit of HLCM for MapReduce applications.

Simplifying Code-Coupling in the SALOME platform

The SALOME platform is a generic platform for pre- and post-processing for numerical simulations. It is made of modules which are themselves a set of components. YACS is the module responsible for coupling applications, based on spatial and temporal relationships. The coupling of domain decomposition code, such as the coupling of several instances of Code_Aster, a thermomechanical calculation code from EDF R&D, turns out to be a complex task because of the lack of abstraction of current SALOME model.

In 2011, we have proposed and implemented some extensions to the SALOME model and platform to remove this limitation. The main extension is the ability to express the cloning of a service, which generates also the cloning of connections. The actual semantic of the cloning operation has been specified in function of the nature of the service (sequential, parallel) and of the ports (data or control flow). It has greatly simplified the expression of the coupling of several instances of Code_Aster without generating any measurable overhead at runtime: no more recompilation is needed when varying the number of coupled instances.

Towards Data Desktop Grid

Desktop Grids use the computing, network and storage resources from idle desktop PC's distributed over multiple-LAN's or the Internet to compute a large variety of resource-demanding distributed applications. While these applications need to access, compute, store and circulate large volumes of data, little attention has been paid to data management in such large-scale, dynamic, heterogeneous, volatile and highly distributed Grids. In most cases, data management relies on ad-hoc solutions, and providing a general approach is still a challenging issue.

We have proposed the BitDew framework which addresses the issue of how to design a programmable environment for automatic and transparent data management on computational Desktop Grids. BitDew relies on a specific set of meta-data to drive key data management operations, namely life cycle, distribution, placement, replication and fault-tolerance with a high level of abstraction.

Since July 2010, in collaboration with the University of Sfax, we are developing a data-aware and parallel version of Magik, an application for arabic writing recognition using the BitDew middleware. We are targeting digital libraries, which require distributed computing infrastructure to store the large number of digitalized books as raw images and at the same time to perform automatic processing of these documents such as OCR, translation, indexing, searching, etc.

In 2011, we have surveyed P2P strategies (replication, erasure code, replica repair, hybrid storage), which provides reliable and durable storage on top of hybrid distributed infrastructures composed of volatile and stable storage. Following this simulation studies, we are implementing a prototype of the Amazon S3 storage on top of BitDew, which will provide reliable storage by using both Desktop free disk space and volunteered remote Cloud storage.

MapReduce programing model for Desktop Grid

MapReduce is an emerging programming model for data-intense application proposed by Google, which has recently attracted a lot of attention. MapReduce borrows from functional programming, where programmer defines Map and Reduce tasks executed on large sets of distributed data. In 2010, we have developed an implementation of the MapReduce programming model based on the BitDew middleware. Our prototype features several optimizations which make our approach suitable for large scale and loosely connected Internet Desktop Grid: massive fault tolerance, replica management, barriers-free execution, latency-hiding optimization as well as distributed result checking. We have presented performance evaluations of the prototype both against micro-benchmarks and real MapReduce applications. The scalability test shows that we achieve linear speedup on the classical WordCount benchmark. Several scenarios involving lagger hosts and host crashes demonstrate that the prototype is able to cope with an experimental context similar to real-world Internet.

In collaboration with the Huazhong University of Science & Technology, we have developed an emulation framework to assess MapReduce on Internet Desktop Grid. We have made extensive comparison on BitDew-MapReduce and Hadoop using Grid5000 which show that our approach has all the properties desirable to cope with an Internet deployment, whereas Hadoop fails on several tests.

In collaboration with the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, we have proposed a distributed result checker based on the Majority Voting approach. We evaluated the efficiency of our algorithm by computing the aggregated probability with which a MapReduce computation produces an erroneous result.

We have published two chapters in collective books around Cloud and Desktop Grid technologies. The first one, in collaboration with University of Madrid is an introduction to MapReduce and Hadoop, the second one, in collaboration with Virginia Tech is a presentation of two alternative implementations of MapReduce for Desktop Grids : Moon and Bitdew.

SpeQuloS: Providing Quality-of-Service to Desktop Grids using Cloud resources

EDGI is an FP7 European project, following the successful FP7 EDGeS project, whose goal is to build a Grid infrastructure composed of "Desktop Grids", such as BOINC or XtremWeb, where computing resources are provided by Internet volunteers, and "Service Grids", where computing resources are provided by institutional Grid such as EGEE, gLite, Unicore and "Clouds systems" such as OpenNebula and Eucalyptus, where resources are provided on-demand. The goal of the EDGI project is to provide an infrastructure where Service Grids are extended with public and institutional Desktop Grids and Clouds.

The main limitation with the current infrastructure is that it cannot give any QoS support for applications running in the Desktop Grid (DG) part of the infrastructure. For example, a public DG system enables clients to return work-unit results in the range of weeks. Although there are EGEE applications (e.g. the fusion community’s applications) that can tolerate such a long latency most of the user communities want much smaller latencies.

In 2011, we have developed the SpeQuloS middleware to solve this critical problem. Providing QoS features even in Service Grids is hard and not solved yet satisfactorily. It is even more difficult in an environment where there are no guaranteed resources. In DG systems, resources can leave the system at any time for a long time or forever even after taking several work-units with the promise of computing them. Our approach is based on the extension of DG systems with Cloud resources. For such critical work-units the SpeQuloS system is able to dynamically deploy fast and trustable clients from some Clouds that are available to support the EDGI DG systems. It takes the right decision about assigning the necessary number of trusted clients and Cloud clients for the QoS applications. At this stage, the prototype is fully developed and validated. It supports the XtremWeb and BOINC Desktop Grid and OpenNebula, StratusLab, OpenStack and Amazon EC2 Clouds. The first versions have been delivered to the EDGI production infrastructure. We have conducted extensive simulations to evaluate various strategies of Cloud resources provisioning. Results show that SpeQuloS improve the QoS of BoTs on three aspects : it reduces the makespan by removing the tail effect, it improves the execution stability and it allows to accurately predicts the BoT completion time.

Performance evaluation and modeling

Simulation is a popular approach to obtain objective performance indicators of platforms that are not at one's disposal. It may for example help the dimensioning of compute clusters in large computing centers. In many cases, the execution of a distributed application does not behave as expected, it is thus necessary to understand what causes this strange behavior. Simulation provides the possibility to reproduce experiments under similar conditions. This is a suitable method for experimental validation of a parallel or distributed application.

The tracing instrumentation of a profiling tool is the ability to save all the information about the execution of an application at run-time. Every scientific application executed computes instructions. The originality of our approach is that we measure the completed instructions of the application and not its execution time. This means that if a distributed application is executed on N cores and we execute it again by mapping two processes per core then we need N/2 cores and more time for the execution time of the application. An execution trace of an instrumented application can be transformed into a corresponding list of actions. These actions can then be simulated by SimGrid. Moreover the SimGrid execution traces will contain almost the same data because the only change is the use of half cores but the same number of processes. This does not affect the number of the completed instructions so the simulation time does not get increased because of the overhead. The Grid'5000 platform is used for this work and the NAS Parallel Benchmarks are used to measure the performance of the clusters.

Our main contribution is to propose of a new execution log format that is time-independent. This means that we decouple the acquisition of the traces from the replay. Furthermore we implemented a trace replay tool which relies on top of fast, scalable and validated simulation kernel of SimGrid. We proved that this framework applies for some of the NAS Parallel Benchmarks and we can predict their performance with a good accuracy. Moreover we are working on further improvements for solving some performance issues with the rest benchmarks. We plan to apply some new techniques about the instrumentation of the benchmarks which we have already discussed with people from the performance analysis community and also improve the trace replay tool in order to improve its accuracy. Finally we did a survey on many different tracing tools with regards to the requirements of our methodology which includes all the latest provided tools from the community.

Elastic Scheduling for Functional Workflows

Non-DAG (or functional) workflows are sets of task-graph workflows with non-deterministic transitions between them, that are determined at runtime by special nodes that control the execution flow. In a current work we are focusing on formalizing and evaluating an allocation and scheduling strategy for on-line non-DAG workflows. The goal of this work is to target real-world non-DAG applications and use cloud platforms to perform elastic allocations while keeping cost and stretch fairness constraints.

To address the previous problem we consider each non-DAG workflow as a set of DAG sub-workflows with non-deterministic transitions between them. Whenever an event occurs (a sub-workflow’s execution is completed, a new workflow arrives in the system, a workflow is canceled, etc.) we need to do a rescheduling. The rescheduling strategy considers the currently-running tasks as fixed. Given that the number of events increases proportional to the number of workflows in the system, there is the risk of spending too much time on the scheduling problem and not enough on the workflows themselves. As a result, the scheduling strategy that we will adopt will be a computational inexpensive one, which will give us more room for the number of possible workflows in the system.

This work is currently in the validation step through experimentation with synthetic data. In the near future we will validate against traces of real-world applications that use non-DAG workflows.

Self Adaptive Middleware Deployment

A computer application can be considered as a system of components that exchange information. Each component type has its specific constraints. The application, as a whole, has also its constraints . Deploying an application on a distributed system consist, among other things, to make a mapping between application components and system resources to meet each component constraints , the application constraints, and possibly those set by the the user. Previous work exists on the deployment of middleware, including DIET (with two finished PhD). However, few take into account the issue of redeployment in the event of variation (availability, load, number) of resources. We study this problem of self adaptive deployment of middleware. It consist of achieving an initial deployment, then scrutinizing some changes in the environment, and automatically adjust the deployment (if beneficial) in case of detecting a variation that degrades the performance expected . To do this, we have surveyed the fields of autonomic computing, self adaptive systems and we have defined the different problems that must be solved to achieve this goal. From this, we first define a resource model to represent the physical system, we are to define a model of middleware-based software components, have started the implementation of the resource model to achieve a simulator.

Virtual Machine Placement with Security Requirements

With the number of services using virtualization and clouds growing faster and faster, it is common to mutualize thousands of virtual machines (VMs) within one distributed system. Consequently, the virtualized services, pieces of software and hardware, and infrastructures share the same physical resources. This has given rise to important challenges regarding the security of VMs and the importance of enforcing non-interference between them. Indeed, cross-VM attacks are an important and real world threat. The problem is even worse in the case of adversary users hosted on the same hardware (multi-tenance). Therefore, the isolation facility within clouds needs to be strong. Furthermore, each user has different adversaries and the placement and scheduling processes need to take these adversaries into account.

First, we have worked on resource model to describe distributed system and application model to describe the composition of virtual machine. Then we have formalize isolation requirements between users, between applications and between virtual machines. We also formalized the redundancy requirement. We have created a simulator that can load our resource model and application model. Using it, we have described the Grid'5000 infrastructure and a Virtual Cluster application. We have formalized and implemented an algorithm that takes into account the requirements and place the application. Work in progress considers using Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSP) and SAT problems to improve the quality of placement. Moreover, we study the trade-off between performance, security requirements and infrastructure consolidation. This works is part of a project on Cloud Security with Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs and ENSI de Bourges .

Scheduling for MapReduce Based Applications

After a study of the state of the art regarding scheduling, especially scheduling on grid and clouds and MapReduce application scheduling, experiments were performed over the Grid'5000 and Google/IBM Hadoop platforms. We are now working on improving a previous work by Berlinska and Drozdowski which aims at providing a good static schedule of the Map and Reduce phases. A vizualisation tool has been developed which draws Gantt charts resulting from Berlinska and Drozdowsky's algorithms as well as from our own scheduling heuristics.

A BlobSeer model is also developed in collaboration with the Kerdata research team that will be used for our next developments.