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I think it's field that studies distributed systems as described at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_computing. There are distributed systems such as clusters and grids on top of this field. Algorithms and computational techniques are should be discussed in High-performance computing sub-area.

Am I wrong ? Where I can read strong thesis about distributed computing and it hierarchy ?

Thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have a more specific question that is not answered in the Wikipedia article? Did you already check the textbooks that are listed as references in the Wikipedia page? $\endgroup$ – Jukka Suomela Sep 9 '11 at 9:52
  • $\begingroup$ I don't trust Wikipedia in this case, and want to know answer from reliable sources. I read introduction at "Distributed computing: fundamentals, simulations, and advanced topics" by Hagit Attiya and Jennifer Welch. But I don't understand where are edge between "distributed computing" and "distributed systems" is. Also, I read "Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms" by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and Maarten Van Steen, but it's specific for distributed systems. My question: What kind of relations are between distributed computing, distributed systems, distributed algorithms and techniques ? $\endgroup$ – Pavel Nuzhdin Sep 9 '11 at 10:43
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This is a TCS site, not a general computer science site, so I will only give the TCS answer.

In TCS, the following things are more or less equal:

  • "distributed computing"
  • "distributed algorithms"
  • the study of computational aspects of distributed systems (computability, computational complexity, algorithm design and analysis, etc.)
  • topics of conferences such as PODC and DISC
  • topics covered in textbooks such as Lynch (1996): Distributed Algorithms
  • topics covered in courses such as this.

(Outside TCS, "distributed computing" can mean anything: SETI@home, grids, clusters, clouds, HPC, Internet, web services, P2P, IPC, you name it.)

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