Our goal within ICENI is to provide high-level abstractions for e-science (scientific computing) which will allow users to construct and define their own applications through a graphical composition tool integrated with distributed component repositories and to deliver this environment across a range of platforms and devices. The distributed component repositories will allow developers to contribute their software to the wider community and easily incorporate other work into their own components or applications. The ICENI middleware federates the underlying resources that enable the e-scientist to carry out their work by allowing sophisticated and extensible access and usage policies to be specified.

Our target architectures are the emerging Computational Grids which are starting to dominate the provision of high performance and scientific computing. The efficient exploitation of these physically distributed computational, storage, software and instrument resources connected by wide area networks is only possible through effective data partitioning and communication patterns. The use of performance models allows the optimal implementation and data partition to be determined by sophisticated scheduling algorithms. Numerical efficiency will be maintained through dynamic cross-component optimisations such as lazy libraries and delayed evaluation.

The emerging computational grids provide considerable challenges in the optimal exploitation of distributed computational, software, networking and storage resource. These resources will be owned by different organisations which are cooperating to build a computational community. Within these federated resources an individual organisation’s access control and usage policies must be respected and enforced.

This architecture is being implemented in Java and Jini, but is able to interoperate with the Open Grid Services Architecture.


The origins of the ICENI middleware can be traced back to the HPC group’s fundamental functional language work in the 70s and early 80s. This lead to pioneering work in the design and construction of novel parallel architectures under the Alvey and EPSRIT programmes in the mid and late 80s. This association with parallel architectures lead, in turn, to involvement in the creation of Parallel Application Centres, in close collaboration with Fujitsu of Japan, and this activity, critically, made the final link between the fundamental enabling technologies and practical experience of the requirements and opportunities of the application domains.

The goal of this work continues to be to increase the effectiveness and applicability of high-performance methods and infrastructure across a whole range of application areas in science, engineering, medicine, industry, commerce and society.


The Iceni were a tribe in Roman Britain that occupied an area of East Anglia. A federation of tribes, led by Queen Boudicca of the Iceni, revolted against the occupying Roman forces. The revolt swept through East Anglia to London where they were repulsed and ultimately defeated.


Further information can be obtained from iceni@imperial.ac.uk.