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Revisiting the Anatomy and Physiology of the Grid


A domain-specific software architecture (DSSA) represents an effective, generalized, reusable solution to constructing software systems within a given application domain. In this paper, we revisit the widely cited DSSA for the domain of grid computing. We have studied systems in this domain over the last ten years. During this time, we have repeatedly observed that, while individual grid systems are widely used and deemed successful, the grid DSSA is actually underspecified to the point where providing a precise answer regarding what makes a software system a grid system is nearly impossible. Moreover, every one of the existing purported grid technologies actually violates the published grid DSSA. In response to this, based on an analysis of the source code, documentation, and usage of eighteen of the most pervasive grid technologies, we have significantly refined the original grid DSSA. We demonstrate that this DSSA much more closely matches the grid technologies studied. Our refinements allow us to more definitively identify a software system as a grid technology, and distinguish it from software libraries, middleware, and frameworks.


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Correspondence to Chris A. Mattmann.

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Mattmann, C.A., Garcia, J., Krka, I. et al. Revisiting the Anatomy and Physiology of the Grid. J Grid Computing 13, 19–34 (2015).

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  • DSSA
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • OODT
  • Software architecture