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Designing domain-driven device clouds using Monte Carlo methods

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:domain-driven design? Monte Carlo method? cloud computing?

Cloud computing is an emerging trend. Consequently, more and more embedded devices are becoming connected to "The Cloud." Features that were previously included on the device are now being moved to the cloud and provided as a service. This trend not only requires a new way of thinking about system design, but also enables a new level of algorithmic analysis that is moving us closer to unlocking the true promise of device clouds: data visualization.

To support this conclusion, I'll explore two problem-solving techniques that can help navigate the challenges and opportunities of embedded and mobile device-cloud designs: domain-driven design and Monte Carlo methods.

In this report
??Device clouds
??Domain-driven design
??Monte Carlo methods
??Data visualization

Domain-driven design (DDD) helps us dissect complex problem domains and make intelligent design decisions regarding which features should reside in the device and which should reside in the cloud.

Monte Carlo methods (MCMs) give us tools to characterize data and predict events across a family of devices that we would not otherwise be able to do without a device-cloud infrastructure.

Device clouds
To understand how device clouds fit within the historical context of computing, here is an oversimplified chronology of events since 1950:

Centralized computing (1950-1975). During this time, advancements in electronics enabled bigger and faster computers. Because of high component costs and the highly specialized skills required for operation, there was a natural trend toward centralized computing. Computing during this time was done primarily in academic, corporate, or government contexts. Multitasking and multiuser systems, when they became available, made use of dumb terminals to act as conduits to the central processing unit.

Decentralized computing (1975-2000). Thanks to the decreasing cost of electronic components and the increase in processing power and memory densities, it was possible to put the power of computing into the hands of the average home user. Although computing in academia, corporations, and government programs of course were still major growing forces, the personal computer revolution caused a natural decentralization of both processing and storage.

Pervasive computing (2000- ). Thanks to the dot-com gold rush, a proliferation of connected devices, maturing communications infrastructures, and an increasing rate of adoption of cellular technologies, we're now living in a world where computers are everywhere around us. Our need, now more than ever, is to find ways to connect these devices together and share the data and user experiences between them in a meaningful way. Cloud computing is a class of solution that is helping us design around and leverage the exploding number of connected devices. In a sense, cloud computing symbolizes a hybrid of the previous two generations of computing, taken to their logical conclusion: from centralized computing to cloud computing and from decentralized computing to mobile computing.

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