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SHADOW: A workflow scheduling algorithm reference and testing framework

Ryan W. Bunney
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
University of Western Australia

Andreas Wicenec
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
University of Western Australia

Mark Reynolds
University of Western Australia


As the scale of science projects increase, so does the demand on computing infrastructures. The complexity of science processing pipelines, and the heterogeneity of the environments on which they are run, continues to increase; in order to deal with this, the algorithmic approaches to executing these applications must also be adapted and improved to deal with this increased complexity. An example of this is workflow scheduling, algorithms for which are continually being developed; however, in many systems that are used to deploy science workflows for major science projects, the same algorithms and heuristics are used for scheduling. We have developed SHADOW, a workflow-oriented scheduling algorithm framework built to address an absence of open implementations of these common algorithms, and to facilitate the development and testing of new algorithms against these 'industry standards'. SHADOW has implementations of common scheduling heuristics, with the intention of continually updating the framework with heuristics, metaheuristics, and mathematical optimisation approaches in the near future. In addition to the algorithm implementations, there is also a number of workflow and environment generation options, using the companion utility SHADOWGen; this has been provided to improve the productivity of algorithm developers in experimenting with their new algorithms over a large variety of workflows and computing environments. SHADOWGen also has a translation utilities that will convert from other formats, like the Pegasus DAX file, into the SHADOW-JSON configuration. SHADOW is open-source and uses key SciPy libraries; the intention is for the framework to become a reference implementation of scheduling algorithms, and provide algorithm designers an opportunity to develop and test their own algorithms with the framework. SHADOW code is hosted on GitHub at; documentation for the project is available in the repository, as well as at




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