Autonomic Workflow Activities: The AWARD Framework

Luis Assunção, Carlos Gonçalves, José Alberto Cardoso E Cunha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Workflows have been successfully applied to express the decomposition of complex scientific applications. This has motivated many initiatives that have been developing scientific workflow tools. However the existing tools still lack adequate support to important aspects namely, decoupling the enactment engine from workflow tasks specification, decentralizing the control of workflow activities, and allowing their tasks to run autonomous in distributed infrastructures, for instance on Clouds. Furthermore many workflow tools only support the execution of Direct Acyclic Graphs (DAG) without the concept of iterations, where activities are executed millions of iterations during long periods of time and supporting dynamic workflow reconfigurations after certain iteration. We present the AWARD (Autonomic Workflow Activities Reconfigurable and Dynamic) model of computation, based on the Process Networks model, where the workflow activities (AWA) are autonomic processes with independent control that can run in parallel on distributed infrastructures, e. g. on Clouds. Each AWA executes a Task developed as a Java class that implements a generic interface allowing end-users to code their applications without concerns for low-level details. The data-driven coordination of AWA interactions is based on a shared tuple space that also enables support to dynamic workflow reconfiguration and monitoring of the execution of workflows. We describe how AWARD supports dynamic reconfiguration and discuss typical workflow reconfiguration scenarios. For evaluation we describe experimental results of AWARD workflow executions in several application scenarios, mapped to a small dedicated cluster and the Amazon (Elastic Computing EC2) Cloud.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-82
JournalInternational Journal of Adaptive, Resilient, and Autonomic Systems (IJARAS)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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