High-performance computing on very large networks


Making sense of the information contained in networks is currently an expensive and relatively inefficient process. The development of new computing platforms would have the advantage of improving the process’s performance and making it accessible to as many people as possible.

Portrait / project description (ongoing research project)

Computing is usually performed with a network whose state does not vary during the entire process. Yet new connections are constantly appearing, and these are only taken into account when a new computing process is launched. So there is a delay before they are reflected in the result. This project aims to include new connections in currently running computing processes. Their effect therefore becomes apparent almost immediately: if, for example, the journey time on a section of motorway increases following an accident, this can be taken into account immediately and the system can suggest a faster alternative route. Furthermore, the researchers are working to make this mode of computing available on conventional servers and not only on expensive supercomputers.


Network computing seeks to retrieve information using the connections established between the entities in a network. The selection of advertisements presented to Facebook users, for example, is based on their total connections within this network. Having been the subject of research from the earliest days of information technology, this field has been experiencing a revival since the advent of large networks. But new computing platforms are needed to exploit their data.


The aim of this project is to develop a flexible platform for high-performance computing on large networks. In particular, it will support what are known as dynamic networks, whose structure can evolve during the computing process, and will also function on conventional computers.


If dynamic computing on very large networks becomes available to more people by means of a platform that works on conventional computers, it will be more affordable and accessible to more laboratories and companies.

Original title

Building Flexible Large-Graph Processing Systems on Commodity Hardware

Project leader

Professor Willy Zwaenepoel, Laboratoire de systèmes d'exploitation, EPFL



Further information on this content


Professor Willy Zwaenepoel Laboratoire de systèmes d'exploitation
EPFL - IC - IIF – LABOS Bâtiment BC
Station 14 1015 Lausanne

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