Platform Architectures and Operating Systems (2013 - Oct. 2015)

Platform Architectures and Operating Systems

This theme will end on October 31, 2015.

In a TerraSwarm system, applications will compete for a variety of resources, including sensors, actuators, networks, computing resources, storage, energy, and wireless spectrum. The goal of this theme is to develop architectures and operating systems that can dynamically balance the competing needs of distributed concurrent applications so that functionality, robustness, utility, and quality of service are guaranteed. The systems support for this adaptive, resource-aware vision is the SwarmOS, a highly distributed infrastructure that touches every node in the system. Its purpose is to efficiently allocate resources based on complex optimization strategies, while maintaining appropriate security and privacy.

The SwarmOS must support continual reconfiguration of applications and of its own service definitions without ever having the luxury of a clean restart. It must also support richly heterogeneous components including sensors, actuators, networks, and computers, and it must tolerate appearance or disappearance of resources. It must be distributed and mobile, orchestrating actions across heterogeneous networks.

Central to our approach is a methodology that decomposes applications into interconnected graphs of services, borrowing important ideas from service-oriented architecture (SOA) such as loose-coupling, service abstraction, discoverability, and composability, while avoiding much of the overhead and baggage of SOAs. We will supplement the service interface with utility guarantees, provided as service level agreements or contracts.

A key goal of the TerraSwarm project is to define the abstractions for services and locations so that the resource management infrastructure can compose resources (such as sensors and actuators) adaptively. To achieve this goal, we require simple and energy efficient discovery; built-in security from the ground up; guarantees in the form of temporal and limited-duration service-level agreements (SLAs) based on self-assessment of internal and external conditions, availability of resources, workload, and required quality of service; and well-defined lifetimes for which the above are valid.

The security of information, actuation, and brokerage is essential to the success of the TerraSwarm vision. For the leaf nodes of the TerraSwarm system (the sensors and actuators), it is important that security mechanisms are built-in, yet do not constitute an energy burden. This leads to a need to develop energy-efficient hardware support for encryption/decryption as well as hardware-enforced key management.

Platform Architectures and Operating Systems Faculty

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