Distributed Computing: Principles, Algorithms, and Systems
The field of distributed computing covers all aspects of computing and information access across multiple processing elements connected by any form of communication network, whether local or wide-area in the coverage. Since the advent of the Internet in the 1970s, there has been a steady growth of new applications requiring distributed processing. This has been enabled by advances in networking and hardware technology, the falling cost of hardware, and greater end-user awareness. These factors have contributed to making distributed computing a cost-effective, high-performance, and faulttolerant reality. Around the turn of the millenium, there was an explosive growth in the expansion and efficiency of the Internet, which was matched by increased access to networked resources through the World Wide Web, all across the world. Coupled with an equally dramatic growth in the wireless and mobile networking areas, and the plummeting prices of bandwidth and storage devices, we are witnessing a rapid spurt in distributed applications and an accompanying interest in the field of distributed computing in universities, governments organizations, and private institutions.
Advances in hardware technology have suddenly made sensor networking a reality, and embedded and sensor networks are rapidly becoming an integral part of everyone’s life – from the home network with the interconnected gadgets to the automobile communicating by GPS (global positioning system), to the fully networked office with RFID monitoring. In the emerging global village, distributed computing will be the centerpiece of all computing and information access sub-disciplines within computer science. Clearly, this is a very important field. Moreover, this evolving field is characterized by a diverse range of challenges for which the solutions need to have foundations on solid principles.
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