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A distributed system can be seen as a collection of autonomous computers that are connected using a communication network and they communicate with each other by passing messages. The different processors have their own local memory. They use a distribution middleware and they help in sharing different resources and capabilities to provide users with a single and integrated coherent network.

Distributed computing is a field of computer science that studies distributed systems and the computer program that runs in a distributed system is called a distributed program.

A distributed system requires concurrent components, communication network and a synchronization mechanism. A distributed system allows resource sharing, including software by systems connected to the network.

Some common applications of distributed computing are:

  • Intranets, Internet, WWW, email.
  • Telecommunication networks: Telephone networks and Cellular networks.
  • Network of branch office computers -Information system to handle automatic processing of orders,
  • Real-time process control: Aircraft control systems,
  • Electronic banking,
  • Airline reservation systems,
  • Sensor networks,
  • Mobile and Pervasive Computing systems.

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