Grid Computing for Social Science

Grid Computing for Social Science

Kenneth J. Turner (University of Stirling, UK), Paul Lambert (University of Stirling, UK), K. L. Tan (University of Stirling, UK), Vernon Gayle (University of Stirling, UK), Richard O. Sinnott (University of Glasgow, UK), Ken Prandy (University of Cardiff, UK), Erik Bihagen (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Sweden) and Marco H.D. van Leeuwen (International Institute for Social History, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-885-7.ch085
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Grid computing is named by analogy with the electrical power grid. Power stations are linked into a universal supply that delivers electricity on demand to consumers. Similarly, computational resources can be linked into a grid that delivers computing or data on demand to the user’s desktop. The origins of grid computing lie in networked computing, distributed computing, and parallel computing. Grid computing coordinates distributed resources that are not subject to central control, using standard protocols and interfaces to meet the required levels of service (Foster, 2002).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Occupational Data Analysis: A technique used in social science to link survey data to occupational information.

Distributed Computing: Cooperative information processing by networked computers.

Web Service: A networked service that allows cooperative information processing with other similar services.

Virtual Organization (VO): An organization that transcends institutional boundaries, coming together to collaborate for a specified purpose on a short-lived or long-lived basis.

Web Services Description Language (WSDL): A standard for defining the interface to a web service.

Grid Service: A web service that conforms to grid computing standards.

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP): A standard for conveying structured information between web services.

Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA): A high-level architecture for grid computing.

Credential Delegation: The means whereby users can pass their credentials to proxies.

Resource: A networked facility that provides access to data or computation.

Data Documentation Initiative (DDI): A set of XML schemas for annotating social science data.

Proxy Certificate: The credentials of a user passed to a proxy.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI): A secure means of sending data over a public network, encrypting it on transmission with the recipient’s public key and decrypting it on arrival with the recipient’s private key.

Portal: A web-based interface that provides a uniform interface to a range of networked services.

Authentication: Validating the identity of a user requiring access to a resource, often achieved in the grid community through the public key infrastructure.

Single Sign-On: The means whereby a single authentication procedure allows access to networked resources.

Parallel Computing: Data processing by a cluster of closely coupled processors.

Web Services Resource Framework (WSRF): A family of standards for exposing long-lived resources used by web services.

Networked Computing: Information exchange among networked computers.

Credential: A digital certificate that identifies a user.

Occupational Information: Data about different occupational positions, typically obtained through summary (aggregation) analysis of individuals.

Open Distributed Processing (ODP): A family of standards for distributed computing.

Open Systems Interconnection (OSI): A family of standards for networked computing.

Proxy: A third party or service that acts on behalf of the user with their authority and identity.

Grid Computing: A software technology that coordinates distributed resources not subject to central control, using standard protocols and interfaces to meet required levels of service provision.

Globus Toolkit (GT): A widely used collection of fundamental tools for grid computing, developed by the Global Grid Alliance.

Occupational Position: Data that describes the particular occupation of an individual or subject, such as a job title.

Authorization: Validating and enforcing the privileges of a user requiring access to a resource, often achieved through access control lists or security policies.

Micro-Social Survey: A social science dataset that covers detailed information about numerous individual respondents, often dealing with occupation as an important aspect.

Data Abstraction: A technique for providing a database-independent view on data.

Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI): A standard for registering and searching web services in a repository.

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