Masaharu Munetomo

Cloud Computing and Evolutionary Algorithm

Masaharu Munetomo , Professor

Information Initiative Center (Information Science and Engineering, Department of Electronics and Information Engineering, School of Engineering)

High school : Hokkaido Otaru Choryo High School

Academic background : Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University

Research areas
Information Engineering
Research keywords
Cloud Computing, Intelligence Informatics, Algorithm

What is Cloud Computing?

Many people use smartphones, tablets, personal computers and similar devices, as well as various information services including search engines, social networks, and on-line storage. To provide the services, many computers, collaborating with each other via the Internet, process a huge amount of data. The system that enables you to quickly set up and use your “information resources,” such as computers, storage, databases, and network is called cloud computing.

These days, almost all of the information services you use are provided using the technology of cloud computing. Since some of them are utilized by more than hundreds of millions of users all over the world, several million computers distributed in the world process a tremendous amount of data.

Photograph 1 Hokkaido University Academic Cloud
(Left: View of Hardware, Right: Portal Screen)

The Information Initiative Center of Hokkaido University built the "Hokkaido University Academic Cloud" which is the largest academic cloud computing system in Japan, and offers the services to researchers all over Japan. This system, adopting the advanced technologies on cloud computing, can manage computers, storages and networks via the Internet. It allows users to easily control them through the Web portal without directly manipulating the physical computers. This system provides an environment where a researcher can use computers, storages and networks immediately whenever necessary, and it is used for various research projects which require large-scale information processing.

The Information Initiative Center also promotes research and development related to the “inter-cloud system,” which connects the cloud computing systems together on a nation-wide scale. This will establish a system which can process a huge amount of data with the collaboration of computers nation-wide.


What Kind of Research are You Conducting?

Fig. 1 Inter-cloud System

In terms of research related to technology to build cloud computing, I am conducting research and development to establish an inter-cloud system which links cloud computing systems on nation-wide and world-wide scales. More specifically, I am developing linking technology to establish an inter-cloud system, researching a system controlling method including resource allocation and developing technology to automatically build a system dedicated to each researcher or research group.

Furthermore, I am using cloud computing to research intelligence informatics, which is necessary for advanced calculation or data processing, and I am also researching, the algorithms for those processing procedures.

In particular, I am focusing on algorithms for problem-solving which simulate the processes in the evolution of life, called evolutionary algorithm or evolutionary computation. The “genetic algorithm” developed based on the process of genetics and the evolution of life is a representative example. It is a method to formulate processing procedures so that the programs of computers or the solutions spontaneously “evolve” just like life evolves. So far, we developed an advanced genetic algorithm that automatically analyzes the relationship between genes. We are also conducting research on its applications, which includes optimizing the appropriate control of cloud computing systems, large-scale parallelization of the algorithms in a cloud computing environment and also developing a system where humans and computers can collaborate and evolve together.


What Will be Your Next Goal?

I intend to continue researching the fundamental technology to build, control and operate a large-scale inter-cloud system and the methods to implement and process data using large-scale parallel computing that employ algorithms which work on large-sized systems. Furthermore, to establish an intellectual system, algorithms related to intellectual informatics, such as machine learning, must be implemented on the inter-cloud system.

My ultimate goal is to establish a nation-wide and world-wide inter-cloud system and to develop a system or algorithm for an intellectual system to spontaneously “evolve” in an artificial environment, a world-wide inter-cloud system, just like living creatures evolving in their natural environment.



(1)    Masaharu Munetomo, “Genetic Algorithm - Theory and Advanced Method- (Identeki Algorism – Sono Riron to Sentanteki Shuho,“ Morikita Shuppan, 2008.