Distributed problem solving environments for scientific computing

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Virginia Tech

The aim of this thesis is to research the issues involved in creating distributed problem solving environments for scientific computing. As part of our evaluation, we have developed a distributed problem solving environment called DPSolve which combines a very high level language, an interactive X Windows interface and a set of powerful problem solving methods into a single environment. The interface is designed to work on any system running X Windows, whilst the computations are done on a more powerful parallel computer. We implemented the interface on a DEC3100 workstation running ULTRIX, which communicates with procedures running on a Sequent 581 with 10 processors, running DYNIX via RPC.

The design decisions and implementation details of our system are discussed at length along with a detailed example of the system at work. We critically evaluate the approach we have taken and show why it can scale to a very large class of scientific problems. We conclude that this distributed environment should be a representative of future scientific problem solving environments.