Implementation of an activity coordinator for an activity-based distributed system

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Title: Implementation of an activity coordinator for an activity-based distributed system
Author: Shaw, Robert
Abstract: Distributed computing systems offer a number of potential benefits, including: - improved fault-tolerance and reliability - increased processor availability - faster response time - flexibility of system configuration - effective management of geographically distributed resources - integration of special purpose machines into applications In order to realize this potential, support systems that aid in the development of distributed programs are needed. An Activity System facilitates the design and implementation of distributed programs: (1) By allowing the programmer to group functionally related objects into an activity (or job) which is recorded within the system. The information stored concerning relationships between objects may then be used to control their interactions and thus to manage distributed resources. (2) By effectively eliminating the need for the programmer to deal with the underlying details of inter-process communication. The system handles the establishment of communication links between objects in an activity, and controls the routing of messages to activity members. To evaluate the uses of activities in developing distributed programs, I have implemented a portion of such a system; namely, an Activity Coordinator , together with Activity System components and test tools required to verify its functionality. Within the context of an Activity System, the Activity Coordinator provides certain key functions: (1) It maintains a database of information pertaining to objects and activities, and (2) It handles the routing of activity related messages. In future versions of the activity system the Activity Coordinator may also play a more active role in fault recovery. These possibilities will also be discussed.
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Date: 1988

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