Document Type

Article

Date

1999

Embargo Period

11-2000

Keywords

Internetics, Evolution of computational science, Evolution of parallel computing

Language

English

Disciplines

Computer Sciences

Description/Abstract

Ten years ago, we were all sure that parallel computing technology and the interdisciplinary academic field of computational science would be center pieces of both academic and economic growth. We show that this insight was, in principle, correct but was an incomplete vision for large-scale computation implies both increased computer power and increasing numbers of users and applications. Parallel computing undoubtedly works on essentially all problems, but we were unable to produce deployable software systems. Further, few industries could achieve adequate return to justify investment in parallel computers, except in a few areas such as databases. Computational science is the academic field on the interface of computer science with fields such as physics, chemistry, and applied mathematics. This expertise allows you to be very useful and, in principle, is an excellent area of study, but is not a wise field for many students as employers and universities prefer traditional fields. We show how parallel computing and computational science has evolved into Internetics, which is a vibrant growing and much larger field that surely does work both in principle and in practice. Internetics embodies the technologies and expertise used in building large-scale distributed systems and linking fields like physics not just with parallel computers, but with the Web of complex heterogeneous computers. This is CORBA and Java, and not just MPI and HPF. It is Internetics that is the emerging academic field, and not computational science, and internetics is of growing attraction to students and employers. Using an Internetics base, we will produce much better software environments for parallel systems, but the commercial and academic fields associated with parallelism will not grow in the near future. We argue that we almost "got it right" and the essential features of the original vision were correct and are part of current broader thrust.

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