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e-Science 2008 4th IEEE International Conference on e-Science

Workshops & Special Sessions

Abstractions for Distributed Applications and Systems


  • Shantenu Jha, Louisiana State University and e-Science Institute, Edinburgh, USA and UK
  • Murray Cole, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Dan Katz, Louisiana State University, USA
  • Manish Parashar, Rutgers University, USA
  • Omer Rana, Cardiff University, UK
  • Jon Weissman, University of Minnesota, USA


It is becoming generally accepted that developing applications on existing distributed systems is significantly more difficult than it should be.  This occurs because the underlying distributed computing infrastructure is not only complex but is also undergoing a significant shift. Furthermore, applications have not been able to make effective use of distributed infrastructure and tools because of the gap of suitable abstractions/patterns to utilize infrastructure efficiently -- the effort required has been too high for many scientists. It can be argued that the design and implementation of the most ambitious distributed infrastructure are not consistent with a clear theoretical understanding of distributed applications -- the different classes of application, specific application level requirements and common usage modes. Conversely, it can be argued that, had distributed systems been architected with specific applications and usage modes in mind, the state of the theory and practise (deployment) of distributed systems would have been different.

The overarching aim of this workshop is to highlight and understand this gap and to address this imbalance. Additionally, this workshop aims to determine where programming abstractions are important and where non-programmatic abstractions are likely to make greater impact in enabling applications to effectively utilize distributed infrastructure.  In addition to covering traditional applications and systems, this workshop will also address emerging infrastructure and application areas, such as programming and system abstractions for Clouds and data-intensive applications.

We invite both short-papers (4-6 pages) and full-length papers (standard IEEE format see: on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Existing research efforts in developing distributed systems abstractions and patterns driven by application requirements
  • Identify usage modes of applications, and how studying these usage modes could facilitate better infrastructure utilization
  • Present "success stories'' in utilizing abstractions or patterns or specific applications (and classes)
  • Identify lessons learned in deployment patterns over existing Grid infrastructure (such as TeraGrid, EGEE, Globus, Condor, etc)
  • Understand how infrastructure can be better adapted for distributed application deployment

We also invite contributed talks on topics of relevance and interest.

Talks will be chosen on the basis of an abstract up to 500 words.

Both submitted papers and abstracts for talks will be peer-reviewed; accepted submissions will form part of the formal proceedings of the IEEE e-Science Conference.

  • Papers (short or full length) or Abstracts for talks Deadline: September 01, 2008
  • Notification of Acceptance: September 22, 2008
  • Camera Ready Papers Due: September 29, 2008

This workshop will be intellectually linked to the UK e-Science Institute sponsored theme on Distributed Programming Abstractions:

It will provide an opportunity for exchange of ideas, synergy and potential collaboration between application scientists, system & tool developers and resource & technology providers.

Date and Time

Thursday, December 11, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.


10–10:30 a.m.
Programming Models for Instrument-driven e-Science Workflows : Experiences with LEAD Science Gateway
Beth Plale
10:30–11 a.m.
Classification of Different Approaches for e-Science Applications in Next Generation Computing Infrastructures
Morris Reidel
11–11:30 a.m.
Using Small Abstractions to Program Large Distributed systems
Doug Thain
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
1–1:30 p.m.
Towards Computational Abstractions over a RESTful Architecture
David de Roure
1:30–2 p.m.
Surresh Marru
2–2:30 p.m.
Matthew Sottile
2:30–3 p.m.
3–3:30 p.m.
Programming Abstractions for Multicore Clouds
Geoffrey Fox
3:30–4 p.m.
Applications and Classification of Workflows
Ewa Deelman
4–5 p.m.

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