A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge  
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Technologies, Standards, and Marketplaces for e-Knowledge
© SCUP 2003
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Internet Infrastructures and Technologies (continued)


Chapter 4

Technologies, Standards, and Marketplaces for e-Knowledge

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Examples of Grid Computing Projects. A number of ambitious Grid projects, largely scientific in conception, have been implemented in recent years that require large amounts of data crunching. Most prominent among the early projects have been Compute Against Cancer and the SETI@Home project. The latter of these projects now harnesses the previously unused CPU time of over half a million personal computers and delivers the equivalent of 1,000 CPU years per day to the task of analyzing radio data from outer space. Likewise, networking brings the possibility of linking people in ways that magnify their knowledge and the contribution they can make to an organization.

“In a future in which computing, storage, and software are no longer objects we possess, but utilities to which we subscribe, the most successful scientific communities are likely to be those that succeed in assembling and making effective use of Grid infrastructures and thus accelerating the development and adoption of new problem-solving methods within their discipline.”

Ian Foster, February 2002

Grid computing is not limited to scientific applications. Major hardware providers such as Sun, IBM, and HP/Compaq are pursuing the use of massive grid computing to create new generation of networked computing and powerful applications solutions that they will make available to their customers over the Web.


Similar in spirit to the partnerships that created the Internet as we know it today, the Internet2 initiative is primarily a US-based consortium led by around 200 universities working with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies. Its goals are to:

  • create leading edge network capability for the research community;
  • enable development of revolutionary Internet applications; and
  • ensure rapid transfer of new network services and applications to the broader Internet community.

Internet2 Applications. Within formal education settings, there are already applications of Internet2 capability being developed, many of which make use of the high bandwidth and digital video processing potential. For example, the Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota has developed Internet2 tools to enhance its distributed learning capability. Its researchers are pursuing collaborative scientific visualization techniques that utilize high performance computing across distributed networks. . In principle, the Internet2 could be used to make the results of such computations available to groups of learners and to provide those groups with some form of video conferencing without requiring old-style ISDN (telephone-company) video conferencing equipment.


As a collaborative effort on a much larger scale, the Internet2 K20 initiative brings together Internet2 member institutions, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and museums to apply advanced networking tools, applications, and e-content in the pursuit of early innovation.

As with Grid projects, Internet2 also builds on the distributed architecture and collaborative potential of the Internet. The Internet2 “Commons” is a framework for collaboration established for large-scale research within the education community based upon collaborative tools. Initially, these tools have primarily been enabled to work within a video-conferencing platform but it is planned to develop the framework to focus on other interactive services as well.

While there is a small degree of international collaboration, at present the Internet2 project is still largely driven by and for a United States constituency. (ref: Internet2 K20. www.internet2.edu/k20)


Complementary Visions for Network Computing

Semantic Web   The Grid

Distributed networks model


Supercomputing model

Symbolic, heuristic


Numeric, algorithmic

Extension of current web


Scientific computing

Rich meaning, based on representations of context and relationship; machine processible


Resource sharing


oordinated problem solving

Semantic search—find, share, combine (not just documents)

See: www.w3.org/2001/sw/


Multi-institutional virtual organizations


Programs and computations as community resources

See: www-fp.mcs.anl.gov/ ~foster/ grid-projects/


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