Trust, Virtual Teams, and Grid Technology

Trust, Virtual Teams, and Grid Technology

Genoveffa Jeni Giambona (University of Reading, UK), Nicholas L.J. Silburn (Henley Business School, UK) and David W. Birchall (Henley Business School, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-364-7.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the collaborative use of computing resources to support decision making in industry. Through the use of middleware for desktop grid computing, the idle CPU cycles available on existing computing resources can be harvested and used for speeding-up the execution of applications that have “non-trivial” processing requirements. This chapter focuses on the desktop grid middleware BOINC and Condor, and discusses the integration of commercial simulation software together with free-to-download grid middleware so as to offer competitive advantage to organizations that opt for this technology. It is expected that the low-intervention integration approach presented in this chapter (meaning no changes to source code required) will appeal to both simulation practitioners (as simulations can be executed faster, which in turn would mean that more replications and optimization are possible in the same amount of time) and management (as it can potentially increase the return on investment on existing resources).
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Background

Grid Technology

Grid technology, or Grid computing, is rooted in scientific research ranging from seismology to medicine and pharmaceuticals, to climate modelling (Smith, 2005). It was originally considered as a means of using under-utilised large scale computing resources to solve complex numerical problems (Foster & Kesselman, 1998).

Unsurprisingly, today Grid technology is a mix of computer technologies, softwares and protocols which, among other aspects, are concerned with “coordinated resource sharing and problem solving in dynamic, multi-institutional virtual organizations.” (Foster et al., 2001, p. 2). Foster (2002) reinforces the concepts of resource sharing and the “multi-institutional virtual organization” when he suggests that a Grid “integrates and coordinates resources and users that live within different control domains” which can include “different administrative units of the same company; or different companies” (2002, p. 1). Foster goes on to suggest two further central elements of a Grid: the use of “standard, open, general-purpose protocols and interfaces”; and the delivery of “nontrivial qualities of service.” (2002, pp. 1-2). This idea of quality of services is particularly relevant to trust as it covers such issues as resource availability, reliability, and security – issues which will be discussed more later on in this chapter.

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