IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering

Spawn: A Distributed Computational Economy

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We have designed and imnipmented an open, market- based computational system called Spawn. The Spawn system utilizes idle computational resources in a distributed network of heterogeneous computer workstations. It supports both coarse-grain concurrent applications and the remote execution of many independent tasks. Using concurrent Monte Carlo simulations as prototypical applications, we explore issues of fairness in resource distribution, currency as a form of priority, price equilibria, the dynamics of transients, and scaling to large systems. In addition to serving the practical goal of harnessing idle processor time in a computer network, Spawn has proven to be a valuable experimental workbench for studying computational markets and their dynamics. © 1992 IEEE