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Title: Massively parallel computing for particle physics
Author: Preston, Ian Christopher
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis presents methods to run scientific code safely on a global-scale desktop grid. Current attempts to harness the world’s idle desktop computers face obstacles such as donor security, portability of code and privilege requirements. Nereus, a Java-based architecture, is a novel framework that overcomes these obstacles and allows the creation of a globally-scalable desktop grid capable of executing Java bytecode. However, most scientific code is written for the x86 architecture. To enable the safe execution of unmodified scientific code, we created JPC, a pure Java x86 PC emulator. The Nereus framework is applied to two tasks, a trivially parallel data generation task, BlackMax, and a parallelization and fault tolerance framework, Mycelia. Mycelia is an implementation of the Map-Reduce parallel programming paradigm. BlackMax is a microscopic blackhole event generator, of direct relevance for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The Nereus based BlackMax adaptation dramatically speeds up the production of data, limited only by the number of desktop machines available.
Supervisor: Tseng, Jeff Sponsor: Science and Technology Facilities Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Particle physics ; parallel computing ; virtualization ; emulation ; grid computing ; map-reduce