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This paper investigates the use of advanced communication services in grid environments. Such services can include augmented communication semantics (e.g., filtering), collective operations, content-based and policy-based routing, and managing communication scope to manage feasibility. These services could be implemented and deployed in a variety of ways, such as a traditional network of servers, or as a middleware forwarding and routing layer, or even in an active network. In any of these approaches, topology-awareness can play a major role in their performance and scalability. As a case study, we demonstrate here a communication service to support time management in distributed simulations that is managed using a grid computing toolkit. We also present emulation and simulation results to demonstrate the scalability that topology-awareness enables for services such as time management. Since the design space for communication services offers so many possibilities and alternatives, we argue for the definition of proper high-level models and APIs such that the underlying implementations and scope of deployment can be developed and improved with minimal impact on applications.
Date of Conference: 12-15 May 2003