Round Table on Pervasive Grids

Co-located with GPC 2007 (Grid and Pervasive Computing)

Paris,France, 02 May 2007


The Grid and Pervasive conference (GPC 2007) provided a high-profile, leading-edge forum for researchers and developers from industry and academia to report on the latest scientific and technical advances, discuss and debate the major issues, and showcase the latest systems in merging grid computing and the pervasive computing field. This year, a total of 217 high-quality papers were submitted by researchers and practitioners from about 20 countries. Based on the originality, significance, correctness, relevance, and clarity of presentation, 56 submissions were selected as regular papers and 12 were selected as short papers. GPC2007 was sponsored by Hewlett Packard through the strong support of Franck Baetke, Philippe Devins, and Jean-Luc Assor, by INRIA and the University of Paris XIII through the ‘Conseil Scientifique’, and also through Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique de Paris Nord (LIPN - UMR CNRS 7030). GPC2007 is published by Springer Verlag as a Lecture Notes in Computer Science (#4459 – ISSN: 0302-9743).

GPC organizers were also delighted to be able to welcome four well-known international researchers, Thierry Priol (France) representing the European CoreGrid initiative, Minyi Guo, Professor at the School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Aizu (Japan), Laurence T. Yang representing St. Francis Xavier University (Canada), and Franck Cappello (Research director of Grid'500 project at INRIA – France) who delivered the keynote speeches.

Last but not least in the list of GPC2007 scientific events, Jean-Marc Pierson (IRIT, Toulouse, France) and colleagues proposed to organize a special event to root the Pervasive Grid (PG) concept.

Motivations and short introduction of the talks

The aim of the round-table is to investigate the opportunities and challenges of Pervasive Grids. The round-table brought together researchers from the Grid and Pervasive communities, who are active in the PG field, to discuss the definition of what is a PG. Is there a consensus on its applications and their requirements and challenges? Will a Pervasive Grid be eventually realized?

PG is motivated by the advances in Grid technologies and the proliferation of pervasive systems, and is leading to the emergence of a new generation of applications that use pervasive and ambient information as an integral part to manage, control, adapt and optimize. These include a range of application areas including crisis management, homeland security, personal healthcare, predicting and managing natural phenomenon, monitoring and managing engineering systems, optimizing business processes etc.

In his introduction, Jean-Marc Pierson mentionned also the problems of finding a killer application and the best ways to federate initiatives. From the other side, the challenges of the heterogenity, the dynamism, the large scale worlds lead to uncertainty on resources availability, on users, on tasks... pushing towards a world of autonomic entities coordinated by a global or a distributed mechanism? That is (one of) the question. Then Jean-Marc proposed a first list of keywords to characterize PG: Uncertainty, Dynamism, Context-awareness, Semantic/Knowledge, Closed-loop, Security, Adaptivity, Invisibility, Proactivity, Opportunistic (Ad-hoc), Self-*, Autonomic but collaboration among entities.

Lionel Brunie (INSA – Lyon – France) considered that autonomy is (very) nice but can also be very laborious if users have to take into account the data synchronization, the network administration, the data searching and processing, the data privacy, the data adaptation... He suggested that Grids should bring to the PG communauty the Grid Infrastructure (processing power, data integration, security issues...). In this case, he could dream of The Pervasive Grid: a kind of information Grid, user context-aware.

Geoffrey Coulson (Lancaster University, UK) focused on “Pervasive management support systems. For example: these are systems that are (i) driven by live sensor input from a sensor-actuator network; (ii) involve large-scale, real-time, grid-based computation (e.g. simulation or modelling) on the sensor input; and (iii) "close the loop" by driving the operation of the actuators in real-time. Geoff listed core challenges that interest him: SAN and adaptive local computation for instance.

In his talk, Minyi Guo (University of Aizu, Japan) insisted on the challenges of deep context awareness (makefull use of context information to take a decision and make use of commodity sensors), invisibility of resource management and discovery (use flexible smart space infrastruture to accommodate all kind of resource), cognitive continuity (due to user distraction, accommodate new computing utilities) and sentient software (make the software look smart some of the time in implementing some decent adaptive algorithms/heuristics).

Manish Parashar (Rudgers university – US) pointed out what he called “Pervasive Grid (Cyber) Ecosystems” which look like seamless, secure, on-demand access to and aggregation of geographically distributed computing with the good properties of Knowledge-based, information/data-driven, context/content-aware computationally intensive. In order to merit the name of Ecosystems, he “closed to loop” by saying that the systems needs also to acquire, analyse/predict and control itself based on a feedback between inputs and outputs. He suggested to provide autonomic control capabilities using actuation devices. A remark from the audience pointed out that the Ecosystem name is, maybe not apropriate because he considered that in an Ecosystem the resource are constant (for instance the volume of water on the earth is “constant”). In a PG system, we produce more and more data: the “assessment of energy is positive”.

Laurence T.Yang (Canada) among many interesting ideas introduced the particular concept of Pervasive Intelligence related to common knowledge. Then, the issues are the following: What knowledge is necessary for HP Cluster and smart u-things? What knowledge should be initially set? What knowledge can be added later on? What knowledge may be self-learned during uses? How knowledge is used for rich and varied real situations?

Amond the conclusions of the round table requesting for a medium to exchange information on the Pervasive Grid topic, we are pleased to announce that a WiKi has been started on:

The round table ended by a questions and answers session. One question was about the standards that the Industry always requires to build/push a new technology. Maybe that we could start to build a PG by assembling current technologies as people have done with Desktop Grids based on PC and Ethernet networks in order to demonstrate the potential of one flavour of Grid Technology?

Enjoy the video and the slides!

Christophe Cérin and Jean-Marc Pierson
August 2007


Biographies of Panelists:

Lionel Brunie: Prof. Lionel Brunie is the LIRIS Lab (Lyon, France) deputy director since January 2007. He before headed (from 2002 until 2006) the doctoral school of computer science of Lyon (EDIIS - Lyon). After he received his PhD in computer science at the Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, Lionel Brunie joined the Ecole Normale Superieure (LIP lab) of Lyon as assistant professor. Then he took a university Professor position in computer science at the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) of Lyon in October 1998 where he co-founded the LIRIS laboratory in 2002. Lionel Brunie leads a research team of 15 researchers. His main topics of interest include: distributed information systems, grid and pervasive computing, security, multimedia databases, medical informatics. Lionel Brunie is the (co-)author of over 120 research papers; he has been member of over 40 scientific conference and workshop committees.


Geoff Coulson: Prof. Geoff Coulson is a Professor of Distributed Computing with over 40 journal and 100 conference papers to his name. He received his PhD from Lancaster University in 1992, and since then has led many successful projects in the distributed systems/ middleware area, including both EPSRC- and EU-funded projects. He has been particularly involved recently in projects involving middleware for sensor networks and embedded systems. He serves on numerous PCs in the middleware/ distributed systems area, has organised several workshops and has chaired major international conferences (e.g. the ACM/IFIP/USENIX International Middleware Conference). His research interests include distributed systems, grids, adaptive sensor networks, and systems-oriented software engineering.


Minyi Guo: Prof. Minyi Guo received the B.S. and M.E. degrees in Computer Science from Nanjing University, China in 1982 and 1986, respectively. From 1986 to 1994, he had been an assistant professor of the Department of Computer Science at Nanjing University. He received the Ph.D. degree in information science from University of Tsukuba, Japan in 1998. From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Guo had been a research associate of NEC Soft, Ltd. Japan. He is currently a full professor at the Department of Computer Software, The University of Aizu, Japan. From 2001 to 2002, he was a visiting professor of Department of Computer Science, Georgia State University, USA. Dr. Guo's research interests include parallel and distributed processing, parallelizing compilers, data parallel languages, data mining and software engineering. He is a member of the ACM, IEEE, IEEE Computer Society, the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ) and IEICE.


Manish Parashar: Manish Parashar is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers University, where he also is co-director of the Center for Advanced Information Processing (CAIP) and director of the Applied Software Systems Laboratory (TASSL). He received a BE degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from Bombay University, India and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University. He has received the Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research (2004-2005), NSF CAREER Award (1999) and the Enrico Fermi Scholarship from Argonne National Laboratory (1996). His research interests include autonomic computing, parallel & distributed computing (including peer-to-peer and Grid computing), scientific computing, and software engineering.


Jean-Marc Pierson: Since September 2006, Jean-Marc Pierson serves as a University Professor in Computer Science at the University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse 3 (France). Jean-Marc Pierson received his PhD from the ENS-Lyon, France in1996. He was an Associate Professor at the University Littoral Côte-d'Opale (1997-2001) in Calais, then at INSA-Lyon (2001-2006). He is now a member of the IRIT Laboratory. His main interests are related to large-scale distributed systems, funded by several projects in Grids and Pervasive environments, with applications in biomedical informatics. He serves on several PCs in the Grid and Pervasive computing area. His researches focus on security, cache and replica management, and monitoring.


Gregor von Laszewski: Gregor von Laszewski is a Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a fellow of the Computation Institute at University of Chicago.  He received a Masters Degree in 1990 from the University of Bonn, Germany, and a Ph.D. in 1996 from Syracuse University in computer science. He is involved in Grid computing since the term was coined. Current research interests are in the areas of parallel, distributed, and Grid computing. Specifically, he is working on topics in the area of using commodity technologies within Grid services, applications, and portals. He serves on multiple Grid related conferences. He is the principal investigator of the Java Commodity Grid Kit which provides the current basis for many Grid related projects including Globus Toolkits GT3 and GT4.


 Laurence T. Yang: Dr. Laurence T. Yang's research includes high performance computing and networking, embedded systems, ubiquitous/pervasive computing and intelligence, autonomic and trusted computing, computational science and engineering. He has published around 240 papers in refereed journals, conference proceedings and book chapters in these areas. He has been involved in more than 100 conferences and workshops as the program/general conference chair and more than 200 conference and workshops as a program committee member. He served as the vice-chair of IEEE Technical Committee of Supercomputing Applications (TCSA) until 2004, currently is in the executive committee of IEEE Technical Committee of Scalable Computing (TCSC), and of IEEE Technical Committee of Self-Organization and Cybernetics for Informatics, and of IFIP Working Group 10.2 on Embedded Systems. He is also the co-chair of IEEE Task force on Intelligent Ubiquitous Computing. In addition, he is the editors-in-chief of 10 international journals and few book series. He is serving as an editor for 14 international journals. He has been acting as the author or editor/co-editor of 30 books from Kluwer, Springer, Nova Science, American Scientific Publishers and John Wiley & Sons. He has received 3 Best Paper Awards including the IEEE 20th International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications (AINA-06); Distinguished Achievement Award, 2005; Distinguished Contribution Award, 2004; Outstanding Achievement Award, 2002; Canada Foundation for Innovation Award, 2003; University Research/Publication/Teaching Award 00-02/02-04/04-06.