computational grid
n. A large collection of computers linked via the Internet so that their combined processing power can be harnessed to work on difficult or time-consuming problems. (Also called community computation.)

Example Citation:
"It's a simple fact: The average office computer, even though it's powered up 100% of the time, sits idle most of the time.

Reading a Web page, typing a document or analyzing a spreadsheet is not very taxing for your average Pentium-based box. Wouldn't it be nice if you could pool all that horsepower and make it available as a shared network resource to power-hungry applications?

A group of researchers is working on a way to do just that, albeit on a grander scale. Re-searchers from the University of Southern California...demonstrated at Supercomputing 97 (SC97), in San Jose, Calif. last week, a computational grid that used about 3,000 processors in the U.S. and Europe.

The Globus Ubiquitous Supercomputing Testbed (GUSTO) is intended to show how a collection of computers can be strung together across a network to operate like a power grid supplying a neighborhood with electricity."
—Andy Eddy, "Computational grid taps network power," Network World, December 1, 1997

Related Words:

Categories: