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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Performance Prediction and Analysis of BOINC Projects: An Empirical Study with EmBOINC

  • Author(s): Estrada, Trilce
  • Taufer, Michela
  • Anderson, David P.
  • et al.

Middleware systems for volunteer computing convert a set of computers that is large and diverse (in terms of hardware, software, availability, reliability, and trustworthiness) into a unified computing resource. This involves a number of scheduling policies and parameters, which have a large impact on the throughput and other performance metrics. How can we study and refine these policies? Experimentation in the context of a working project is problematic, and it is difficult to accurately model complex middleware in a conventional simulator. Instead, we use an approach in which the policies being studied are “emulated”, using parts of the actual middleware. In this paper we describe EmBOINC, an emulator based on the BOINC middleware system. EmBOINC simulates a population of volunteered clients (including heterogeneity, churn, availability, and reliability) and emulates the BOINC server components. After describing the design of EmBOINC and its validation, we present three case studies in which the impact of different scheduling policies are quantified in terms of throughput, latency, and starvation metrics.

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