Translating the Grid: How a Translational Approach Shaped the Development of Grid Computing

08/21/2020 ∙ by Ian Foster, et al. ∙ 0

A growing gap between progress in biological knowledge and improved health outcomes inspired the new discipline of translational medicine, in which the application of new knowledge is an explicit part of a research plan. Abramson and Parashar argue that a similar gap between complex computational technologies and ever-more-challenging applications demands an analogous discipline of translational computer science, in which the deliberate movement of research results into large-scale practice becomes a central research focus rather than an afterthought. We revisit from this perspective the development and application of grid computing from the mid-1990s onwards, and find that a translational framing is useful for understanding the technology's development and impact. We discuss how the development of grid computing infrastructure, and the Globus Toolkit, in particular, benefited from a translational approach. We identify lessons learned that can be applied to other translational computer science initiatives.

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