HEECMA is a collaborative project funded by the National Science Foundation under Award  #1908677 (CNS Core: Small: Collaborative Research: HEECMA: A Hybrid Elastic Edge-Cloud Application Management Architecture).


Application software is becoming increasingly abundant in functionality and increasingly demanding of resources, e.g., memory and compute power. This project examines how application software, e.g., a Virtual Reality (VR) based drone control application, can be partitioned and deployed over different parts of a distributed computing infrastructure, i.e., resources are managed by a hybrid of service and cloud providers. Research questions that will be answered include: what is the best partitioning of the application that balances compute and memory demand for each application component (function) and the communication needs between these functions? Which provider should be used for each application function so that it runs quickly at the lowest cost? Moreover, how should the system adapt to changes in the availability of resources to maintain a high level of quality of experience for users?

The project will develop the theoretical foundations of decomposing applications over a distributed complex cyberinfrastructure. We will study various decompositions and corresponding virtualization and resource allocation services offered by different providers with resources at the edge of the infrastructure, i.e., closer to users, and at the core, i.e., deeper into the infrastructure. The goal is to find the “best” decomposition to meet users’ quality of experience while reducing the cost/price for the users. The decomposed (distributed) solution will be realized by employing corresponding feedback control algorithms and game-theoretic incentives. The project will then experiment with three classes of applications to validate these theoretical foundations: streaming Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), intrusion detection, and spatiotemporal ecological forecasting. Toward this end, a prototype will be developed and evaluated over existing open cloud infrastructures (e.g., GENI, CloudLab, Chameleon), commercial clouds, as well as private clouds (e.g., Massachusetts Open Cloud).

This project will advance the state of the art in the area of application software decomposition and deployment over large-scale hybrid cloud infrastructures. The theoretical foundations and experimental validation of the work will inform the design and deployment of other foreseen and unforeseen applications. The performance and cost gains will translate to more efficient use of resources and consequently, a society that is better connected and greener. Outreach efforts will include several activities: (1) the development and delivery of hands-on tutorials that involve partitioning and running application software over a distributed cyberinfrastructure managed by multiple providers, (2) the organization of annual summer camps on cyberinfrastructure operations and management for high school students, and (3) the training and mentoring of minority and under-represented students working on research related to this project.