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CIEL: A Universal Execution Engine for Distributed Data-Flow Computing

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Executive Summary

This paper introduces CIEL, a universal execution engine for distributed data-flow programs. Like previous execution engines, CIEL masks the complexity of distributed programming. Unlike those systems, a CIEL job can make data-dependent control-flow decisions, which enables it to compute iterative and recursive algorithms. The authors have also developed Skywriting, a Turing-complete scripting language that runs directly on CIEL. The execution engine provides transparent fault tolerance and distribution to Skywriting scripts and high-performance code written in other programming languages. They have deployed CIEL on a cloud computing platform, and demonstrate that it achieves scalable performance for both iterative and non-iterative algorithms.

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