Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Document Type



Networks are becoming an essential component of modern cyberinfrastructure and this work describes methods of designing distributed applications for high-speed networks to improve application scalability, performance and capabilities. As the amount of data generated by scientific applications continues to grow, to be able to handle and process it, applications should be designed to use parallel, distributed resources and high-speed networks. For scalable application design developers should move away from the current component-based approach and implement instead an integrated, non-layered architecture where applications can use specialized low-level interfaces. The main focus of this research is on interactive, collaborative visualization of large datasets. This work describes how a visualization application can be improved through using distributed resources and high-speed network links to interactively visualize tens of gigabytes of data and handle terabyte datasets while maintaining high quality. The application supports interactive frame rates, high resolution, collaborative visualization and sustains remote I/O bandwidths of several Gbps (up to 30 times faster than local I/O). Motivated by the distributed visualization application, this work also researches remote data access systems. Because wide-area networks may have a high latency, the remote I/O system uses an architecture that effectively hides latency. Five remote data access architectures are analyzed and the results show that an architecture that combines bulk and pipeline processing is the best solution for high-throughput remote data access. The resulting system, also supporting high-speed transport protocols and configurable remote operations, is up to 400 times faster than a comparable existing remote data access system. Transport protocols are compared to understand which protocol can best utilize high-speed network connections, concluding that a rate-based protocol is the best solution, being 8 times faster than standard TCP. An HD-based remote teaching application experiment is conducted, illustrating the potential of network-aware applications in a production environment. Future research areas are presented, with emphasis on network-aware optimization, execution and deployment scenarios.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Allen, Gabrielle