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1 definition found
 for message passing
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  message passing
  
     One of the two techniques for communicating between parallel
     processes (the other being shared memory).
  
     A common use of message passing is for communication in a
     parallel computer.  A process running on one processor may
     send a message to a process running on the same processor or
     another.  The actual transmission of the message is usually
     handled by the run-time support of the language in which the
     processes are written, or by the operating system.
  
     Message passing scales better than shared memory, which is
     generally used in computers with relatively few processors.
     This is because the total communications bandwidth usually
     increases with the number of processors.
  
     A message passing system provides primitives for sending and
     receiving messages.  These primitives may by either
     synchronous or asynchronous or both.  A synchronous send
     will not complete (will not allow the sender to proceed) until
     the receiving process has received the message.  This allows
     the sender to know whether the message was received
     successfully or not (like when you speak to someone on the
     telephone).  An asynchronous send simply queues the message
     for transmission without waiting for it to be received (like
     posting a letter).  A synchronous receive primitive will wait
     until there is a message to read whereas an asynchronous
     receive will return immediately, either with a message or to
     say that no message has arrived.
  
     Messages may be sent to a named process or to a named
     mailbox which may be readable by one or many processes.
  
     Transmission involves determining the location of the
     recipient and then choosing a route to reach that location.
     The message may be transmitted in one go or may be split into
     packets which are transmitted independently (e.g. using
     wormhole routing) and reassembled at the receiver.  The
     message passing system must ensure that sufficient memory is
     available to buffer the message at its destination and at
     intermediate nodes.
  
     Messages may be typed or untyped at the programming language
     level.  They may have a priority, allowing the receiver to
     read the highest priority messages first.
  
     Some message passing computers are the MIT J-Machine
     http://ai.mit.edu/projects/cva/cva_j_machine.html)">(http://ai.mit.edu/projects/cva/cva_j_machine.html), the
     Illinois Concert Project
     http://www-csag.cs.uiuc.edu/projects/concert.html)">(http://www-csag.cs.uiuc.edu/projects/concert.html) and
     transputer-based systems.
  
     Object-oriented programming uses message passing between
     objects as a metaphor for procedure call.
  
     (1994-11-11)
  

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