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System Design and Structuring

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Brian RandellORCiD



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 involves 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Randell B

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Computing Laboratory Technical Report Series

Year: 1985

Pages: 18

Report Number: 198

Institution: Computing Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne