The imposition of protocols over open distributed systems

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In order to facilitate enforcement of protocols, an architecture for distributed systems is introduced under which all interactions between objects are governed by an explicit and strictly enforced set of rules, called the law of the system. This law is global in the sense that all the objects of the system are made to obey it, but the maintenance of the law and its enforcement are performed locally, at each object (or node). The term law is used to emphasize that it not only provides the specification of protocols, but actually governs the system by enforcing them. In other words, under this architecture a protocol can be established simply by writing it into the law of a system, without having to worry about the programs that drive the various objects that might populate that system. The law, then, is the enforced specification of protocols. It is shown that various familiar protocols can be established under this architecture. A technique for online distributed updating of the global law of a system is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-195
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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