Multicast communications in distributed systems
One of the numerous results of recent developments in communication networks and distributed systems has been an increased interest in the study of applications and protocolsfor communications between multiple, as opposed to single, entities such as processes and computers. For example, in replicated file storage, a process attempts to store a file on several file servers, rather than one. MUltiple entity communications, which allow one-to-many and many-to-one communications, are known as multicast communications. This thesis examines some of the ways in which the architectures of computer networks and distributed systems can affect the design and development of multicast communication applications and protocols. To assist in this examination, the thesis presents three contributions. First, a set of classification schemes are developed for use in the description and analysis of various multicast communication strategies. Second, a general set of multicast communication primitives are presented, unrelated to any specific network or distributed system, yet efficiently implementable on a variety of networks. Third, the primitives are used to obtain experimental results for a study ofintranetwork and internetwork multicast communications.