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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The intermediate machine approach to distributed computing system design Simon, Gordon Peter


This thesis proposes that an intermediate machine be viewed as the software base of a distributed operating system. In this role the services provided to the operating system by the intermediate machine are similar to those provided by a security kernel. Such an intermediate machine software base differs from the traditional security kernel in that it additionally provides an interpreted instruction set. The advantage of this approach is that software extension of a machine architecture - whereby multi-processing and device abstraction are provided - is implemented in a homogeneous manner across all nodes of the distributed computer system. The objective of the thesis is to determine the feasibility of an intermediate machine approach to distributed computer system design. Through investigation and experimentation, an intermediate machine based distributed computer system is developed and evaluated. This paper describes the system and its evaluation. As well, the merits of an intermediate machine software base are considered and the approach is contrasted with popular contemporary distributed system designs. Since it is expected that an interpretative intermediate machine would slow execution of system software, the focus of the project is in exploring this weakness in an effort to determine its extent. These efforts are to manifest in suggestions for a workable design of an intermediate machine based distributed computer.

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