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A Shared Memory Architecture for Distributed Computing (thesis)

Report ID:
November 1987
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This thesis presents shared memory as a new paradigm for distributed computing architectures. It explains how shared memory can be used to simplify the programming of distributed applications, and how such systems can be efficiently implemented in a restricted domain of distributed computing
known as moderately-coupled systems. The viability of moderately-coupled shared memory computing architectures is demonstrated through the implementation of Mind Meld, a versatile interconnection which can be used to combine separate microprocessor systems into a single moderately-coupled shared memory distributed system. Application codes written for Mind Meld have proven the system's ability to improve resource sharing and to enhance parallel processing capabilities. They have also demonstrated that shared memory can greatly simplify the task of distributed system programming. Development of the Mind Meld system has generated new problems in multiprocessor system initialization. The Processor Identity Problem seeks to assign unique identities to a collection of identical processors which communicate through shared memory. Protocols that solve the Processor Identity Problem are developed and analyzed. (Note: this paper has been copied with two sheets per page.)

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