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The Processor Identity Problem

Report ID:
March 1987
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In this paper we pose the problem of establishing unique identities for a group of N identical processors which possess a common shared memory to which asynchronous read and write operations can be performed. We introduce a set of protocols which successfully assign unique integers from the set
{0, 1, 2, ..., N-1} to each processor. By applying these simple protocols to a shared memory multiprocessor system under development at Princeton, we have eliminated the need for hardwired addresses, or customized software for individual processing nodes. Individual processing nodes can now be installed
or replaced without tedious configuration work. We have thereby greatly improved system modularity.

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