Autonomic Computing (AC) denotes a broad area of scientific and engineering research on methods, architectures and technologies for the design, implementation, integration and evaluation of special and general-purpose computing systems, components and applications that are capable of autonomously achieving desired behaviors. AC systems aim to be self-managed in order to enable independent operation, minimize cost and risk, accommodate complexity and uncertainty or enable systems of systems with large numbers of components. Hence, system integration and automation of management are important areas of research whose contexts subsume other AC research topics. These might include, to varying degrees, self-organization, self-healing, self-optimization (e.g. for power or speed), self-protection and other so-called self-* behaviors. CAC research activities will advance several disciplines that impact the specification, design, engineering and integration of autonomic computing and information processing systems. They include design and evaluation methods, algorithms, architectures, information processing, software, mathematical foundations and benchmarks for autonomic systems. Solutions will be studied at different levels of both centralized and distributed systems, including the hardware, networks, storage, middleware, services and information layers. Collectively, the participating universities have research and education programs whose strengths cover the technical areas of the center. Within this broad scope, the specific research activities will vary over time as a reflection of center member needs and the evolution of the field of autonomic computing.
Research at the CAC universities is undertaken by faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers from multiple disciplines including electrical engineering, computer engineering/science, and mechanical engineering. Industry and government partners are welcome to have researchers in residence at the Center or as temporary visitors to campus making use of its facilities. Administrative Structure The Director of the Center is Dr. José A. B. Fortes, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida (UF), and the Co-Directors are Dr. Salim Hariri, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona (UA) and Dr. Manish Parashar, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) for CAC will be comprised of representatives from industry and government members and responsible for oversight of center activities, review of on-going and completed projects, as well as resource assignments for new projects. The University Policy Committee (UPC) will consist of administrators from each school and be responsible for support of various Center activities such as contractual issues and outreach. In addition to the faculty directors and investigators, CAC administration will include a staff member responsible for daily coordination with the overall Center mission and direct support of the needs of all member partners, along with staff support at each university site. Finally, NSF provides for an independent evaluator drawn from outside the participating academic departments and responsible for formal evaluation of the Center, its operations and processes, and its partnerships with industry and government.
Major facilities in the advanced computing and information systems research labs at UF, UA and Rutgers will be leveraged and significantly expanded in support of the CAC Center. At present, facilities include cutting-edge computer systems and software infrastructure. The suite of facilities available to CAC members and researchers provides advanced and powerful research test-beds including hardware, system software and middleware mirroring state-of-the-art capabilities found in industry settings. Its unique capabilities include upwards of 500 computing nodes based on Intel Xeon, AMD Opteron, IBM Power and SUN Sparc systems; 50 Terabytes of storage; commercial and open-source OS software and middleware for virtualization, database management, Web-Services, grid computing, P2P computing, etc. CAC resources are locally and externally connected via high-speed networks.