Open Distributed Processing and Multimedia Part I . The Problem Domain

  • Published 1998


Distributed systems built using commercially available software are becoming widely accepted. Furthermore, work is well advanced on the development of standards to enable open distributed processing. Considerable progress was made towards this goal with the ISO/ITU-T standard for a Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing (ISO/ITU-T RM-ODP). Specific technologies such as the Open Group's Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) and OMG's Common Object Request Broker Architecture (OMG CORBA) have also been developed. This work is also having an impact in the telecommunications arena through initiatives such as the Telecommunication Information Networking Architecture (TINA) consortium. It is important that such standards and technologies remain responsive to new challenges. This book is particularly interested in the demands imposed by multimedia computing. More specifically, the book evaluates the requirements imposed by multimedia computing and proposes an approach to open distributed processing which meets these requirements. This initial chapter introduces the field by considering the emergence of distributed systems and open distributed processing (section 1.2) and then considering the particular requirements of multimedia and the consequent challenge for open distributed processing (section 1.3). The key points of the chapter are then summarised in section 1.4. We introduce the field by firstly providing a definition of distributed systems and then examining the motivation for distributed computing. The section then looks at various problems introduced by distributed systems before concluding by highlighting major recent trends leading to the current interest in open distributed processing. Distributed processing is now one of the most important topics in computing. With the proliferation of both local and wide area networking, it is now crucially important to have distributed systems technologies which can exploit such networked environments. It is notoriously difficult to provide a comprehensive definition of a distributed system; for the purposes of this book, however, we define a distributed system as follows 1 : Definition: Distributed System A distributed system is a system designed to support the development of applications and services which can exploit a physical architecture consisting of multiple, autonomous processing elements that do not share primary memory but cooperate by sending asynchronous messages over a communications network. The term autonomous is crucial to the above definition. In a general distributed processing environment there is inevitably a question of ownership of resources. Resources may be shared, but at the discretion of the owner. This distinguishes distributed systems from more tightly coupled and specialised parallel architectures. The fact that …

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@inproceedings{1998OpenDP, title={Open Distributed Processing and Multimedia Part I . The Problem Domain}, author={}, year={1998} }