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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Semantics-based resource discovery in global-scale grids Li, Juan


Grid computing is a virtualized distributed computing environment aimed at enabling the sharing of geographically distributed resources. Grid resources have traditionally consisted of dedicated supercomputers, clusters, or storage units. With the present ubiquitous network connections and the growing computational and storage capabilities of modem everyday-use computers, more resources such as PCs, devices (e.g., PDAs and sensors), applications, and services are on grid networks. Grid is expected to evolve from a computing and data management facility to a pervasive, world-wide resource-sharing infrastructure. To fully utilize the wide range of grid resources, effective resource discovery mechanisms are required. However, resource discovery in a global-scale grid is challenging due to the considerable diversity, large number, dynamic behavior, and geographical distribution of the resources. The resource discovery technology required to achieve the ambitious global grid vision is still in its infancy, and existing applications have difficulties in achieving both rich searchability and good scalability. In this thesis, we investigate the resource discovery problem for open-networked global-scale grids. In particular, we propose a distributed semantics-based discovery framework. We show how this framework can be used to address the discovery problem in such grids and improve three aspects of performance: expressiveness, scalability, and efficiency. Expressiveness is the first characteristic that a grid resource-searching mechanism should have. Most existing search systems use simple keyword-based lookups, which limit the searchability of the system. Our framework improves search expressiveness from two directions: First, it uses a semantic metadata scheme to provide users with a rich and flexible representation mechanism, to enable effective descriptions of desired resource properties and query requirements. Second, we employ ontological domain knowledge to assist in the search process. The system is thus able to understand the semantics of query requests according to their meanings in a specific domain; this procedure helps the system to locate only semantically related results. The more expressive the resource description and query request, however, the more difficult it is to design a scalable and efficient search mechanism. We ensure scalability by reconfiguring the network with respect to shared ontologies. This reconfiguration partitions the large unorganized search space into multiple well-organized semantically related sub-spaces that we call semantic virtual organizations. Semantic virtual organizations help to discriminatively distribute resource information and queries to related nodes, thus reducing the search space and improving scalability. To further improve the efficiency of searching the virtual organizations, we propose two semantics-based resource-integrating and searching systems: GONID and OntoSum. These two systems address searching problems for applications based on different network topologies: structured and unstructured peer-to-peer overlay networks. Queries in the search systems are processed in a transparent way, so that users accessing the data can be insulated from the fact that the information is distributed across different sources and represented with different formats. In both systems, ontological knowledge is decomposed into different coarse-grained elements, and then these elements are indexed with different schemes to fit the requirements of different applications. Resource metadata reasoning, integrating, and searching are based on the index. A complex query can be evaluated by performing relational operations such as select, project, and join on combinations of the indexing elements. We evaluate the performance of our system with extensive simulation experiments, the results of which confirm the effectiveness of the design. In addition, we implement a prototype that incorporates our ontology-based virtual organization formation and semantics-based query mechanisms. Our deployment of the prototype verifies the system's feasibility and its applicability to real-world applications.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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