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PARALLEL, DISTRIBUTED AND GRID COMPUTING FOR ENGINEERING
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping, P. Iványi
A Vision of a Computing Environment for the Web 2.0 Era
Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
M. Dolenc, "A Vision of a Computing Environment for the Web 2.0 Era", in B.H.V. Topping, P. Iványi, (Editors), "Parallel, Distributed and Grid Computing for Engineering", Saxe-Coburg Publications, Stirlingshire, UK, Chapter 6, pp 103-116, 2009. doi:10.4203/csets.21.6
Keywords: computing environments, grid technology, cloud computing, software as a service, high-performance computing, high-throughput computing, Web 2.0.
Existing high-performance and high-throughput computing facilities are currently restricted to elite stake-holders familiar with distributed service infrastructures, programming paradigms, workflow composition systems and their respective security infrastructures. Those less information-technology savvy, are left out of the equation even though they are in great need of different computing infrastructure, sharing resources, collaborating and generating value-added services and knowledge. There is an emergent need for a novel distributed software platform capable of addressing the real-world needs of the scientific and engineering communities and industries by allowing them to exploit distributed resources and solve complex problems through more secure, intuitive and technology-hiding means leveraging both the current networking and advanced computing environments.
Rather then developing a new closed platform solution for providing the above mentioned features the paper examines different existing and emergent technologies , including: Web 2.0, cloud computing, grid technology and software as a service. The described end-user scenario focuses on the use of parametric studies in earthquake engineering. The scenario paints a vision for a future computing environment by describing a probabilistic performance assessment of a structure  as an example for high-throughput computing environment. The adopted system architecture was selected primarily because it provides a scalable computing solution without the administrative overhead of a local computing cluster, and because it allows users to carry out most of their science with only a web browser.
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