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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Brian Randell
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The task of implementing a large and sophisticated computing system is often unduly costly and time-consuming, with the resulting system exhibiting inadequate performance and reliability, because of excessive system complexity. Such complexity can be reduced significantly by ensuring that the system is constructed out of a well-chosen set of largely independent components, which interact in well-understood ways. However, the task of structuring a system, i.e. of choosing and defining appropriate components, can be very difficult. This paper describes a technique of system structuring which involved distinguishing the functionality which a system is intended to have from other desirable attributes, such as reliability and security, and then using separate components to provide each of these attributes. Various UNIX-based systems which have been implemented at Newcastle are used to illustrate this structuring technique.
Author(s): Randell B
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Computer Journal
ISSN (print): 0010-4620
ISSN (electronic): 1460-2067
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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