Supporting Quality of Service in Scientific Workflows

While workflow management systems have been utilized in enterprises to support businesses for almost two decades, the use of workflows in scientific environments was fairly uncommon until recently. Nowadays, scientists use workflow systems to conduct scientific experiments, simulations, and distr...

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1. Verfasser: Dörnemann, Tim
Beteiligte: Freisleben, Bernd (Prof. Dr.) (BetreuerIn (Doktorarbeit))
Format: Dissertation
Sprache:Englisch
Veröffentlicht: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2012
Mathematik und Informatik
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Zusammenfassung:While workflow management systems have been utilized in enterprises to support businesses for almost two decades, the use of workflows in scientific environments was fairly uncommon until recently. Nowadays, scientists use workflow systems to conduct scientific experiments, simulations, and distributed computations. However, most scientific workflow management systems have not been built using existing workflow technology; rather they have been designed and developed from scratch. Due to the lack of generality of early scientific workflow systems, many domain-specific workflow systems have been developed. Generally speaking, those domain-specific approaches lack common acceptance and tool support and offer lower robustness compared to business workflow systems. In this thesis, the use of the industry standard BPEL, a workflow language for modeling business processes, is proposed for the modeling and the execution of scientific workflows. Due to the widespread use of BPEL in enterprises, a number of stable and mature software products exist. The language is expressive (Turingcomplete) and not restricted to specific applications. BPEL is well suited for the modeling of scientific workflows, but existing implementations of the standard lack important features that are necessary for the execution of scientific workflows. This work presents components that extend an existing implementation of the BPEL standard and eliminate the identified weaknesses. The components thus provide the technical basis for use of BPEL in academia. The particular focus is on so-called non-functional (Quality of Service) requirements. These requirements include scalability, reliability (fault tolerance), data security, and cost (of executing a workflow). From a technical perspective, the workflow system must be able to interface with the middleware systems that are commonly used by the scientific workflow community to allow access to heterogeneous, distributed resources (especially Grid and Cloud resources). The major components cover exactly these requirements: Cloud Resource Provisioner Scalability of the workflow system is achieved by automatically adding additional (Cloud) resources to the workflow system’s resource pool when the workflow system is heavily loaded. Fault Tolerance Module High reliability is achieved via continuous monitoring of workflow execution and corrective interventions, such as re-execution of a failed workflow step or replacement of the faulty resource. Cost Aware Data Flow Aware Scheduler The majority of scientific workflow systems only take the performance and utilization of resources for the execution of workflow steps into account when making scheduling decisions. The presented workflow system goes beyond that. By defining preference values for the weighting of costs and the anticipated workflow execution time, workflow users may influence the resource selection process. The developed multiobjective scheduling algorithm respects the defined weighting and makes both efficient and advantageous decisions using a heuristic approach. Security Extensions Because it supports various encryption, signature and authentication mechanisms (e.g., Grid Security Infrastructure), the workflow system guarantees data security in the transfer of workflow data. Furthermore, this work identifies the need to equip workflow developers with workflow modeling tools that can be used intuitively. This dissertation presents two modeling tools that support users with different needs. The first tool, DAVO (domain-adaptable, Visual BPEL Orchestrator), operates at a low level of abstraction and allows users with knowledge of BPEL to use the full extent of the language. DAVO is a software that offers extensibility and customizability for different application domains. These features are used in the implementation of the second tool, SimpleBPEL Composer. SimpleBPEL is aimed at users with little or no background in computer science and allows for quick and intuitive development of BPEL workflows based on predefined components.
DOI:https://doi.org/10.17192/z2012.0079