A Market Design for Grid Computing

INFORMS Journal on Computing, Forthcoming

30 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2006

See all articles by Ravi Bapna

Ravi Bapna

Indian School of Business

Sanjukta Das

SUNY Buffalo

Robert Garfinkel

University of Connecticut

Jan Stallaert

University of Connecticut - School of Business


Grid Computing uses software to integrate computing resources, such as CPU cycles, storage, network bandwidth, and even applications, across a distributed and heterogeneous set of networked computers. It is now widely deployed by organizations and provides seamless temporary processing capacity expansion to handle peak-period demand on e-commerce servers, distributed gaming, and content storage and distribution. We develop a market-based resource allocation model that adds an economic layer to the current approach of treating resource allocation as primarily a scheduling issue. We design a value elicitation and allocation scheme that provides the economic incentives for buyers and sellers of computing resources to exchange assets. We formulate the problem as a combinatorial call auction and present a portfolio of three solution approaches that trade off economic properties, such as allocative efficiency, incentive compatibility, and fairness in allocation, with computational efficiency. The first of these is an efficient solution that maximizes social welfare and yields incentive compatible Vickrey-Clarke-Groves prices, but requires the solving of multiple instances of an NP-hard problem. For markets where having a commodity price is critical, we show how the addition of fairness constraints to the efficient model can somewhat reduce the computational burden and yet preserve incentive compatibility. Finally, for markets that require real-time fast solution techniques, we propose a time sensitive fair Grid (tsfGRID) heuristic that relaxes the maximal allocation requirement of the welfare maximizing fair solution. Its solution is not guaranteed to be incentive compatible, but the heuristic is designed to be fast, maintain fairness in allocations, and yield commodity prices. Notably, while incentive compatibility is not guaranteed by tsfGRID, computational results comparing it with the efficient solution technique indicate that there are no significant differences in the expected revenue and operational allocative characteristics.

Keywords: Grid computing, combinatorial call auction, fair versus efficient allocation, social welfare, market design

Suggested Citation

Bapna, Ravi and Das, Sanjukta and Garfinkel, Robert and Stallaert, Jan, A Market Design for Grid Computing. INFORMS Journal on Computing, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=927036

Ravi Bapna (Contact Author)

Indian School of Business ( email )

Hyderabad, Gachibowli 500 019
+91 40 23187156 (Phone)

Robert Garfinkel

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Jan Stallaert

University of Connecticut - School of Business ( email )

368 Fairfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269-2041
United States

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