© 2008

Practical Distributed Processing


  • Integrated approach to the field of distributed processing

  • Links theoretical models of concurrency with practical realisation of systems

  • Practical presentation with examples from C, Java and Eiffel

  • Other books are typically large volumes where the precise content becomes lost – this is a coherent textbook

  • Contains the elements needed for a complete development of a distributed system, from theory to practice


Part of the Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science book series (UTICS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Pages 33-48
  3. Pages 101-119
  4. Pages 121-137
  5. Pages 205-211
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 213-270

About this book


Distributed processing has a strong theoretical foundation, but many day-to-day practitioners make limited use of the advantages this theory can give them. The result includes unreliable systems with obscure and intermittent failures that can cost time, money and in extreme cases, lives. Reliable construction of distributed and concurrent systems must incorporate theory in practice.

This book provides a concise presentation of the theory closely linked to the practical realisation of these concepts. This easy-to-follow textbook focuses on practical issues of building working distributed systems and gives an overview of the basic theory, principles and techniques, whilst illustrating how these fit together, via the process of building interesting, non-trivial systems.

Topics and features:

• Provides all the elements needed for a complete development of a distributed system, from theory to practice

• Offers an integrated approach to the field of distributed processing, and presents a coherent view of the field as a practical subject

• Links theoretical models of concurrency with practical realisation of systems

• Contains many examples from C, Java Ada and Eiffel, as well as case studies

• Considers important aspects of the engineering process, including models that can be used to assess and analyse parts of distributed systems, implementation techniques, as well as protocols and security concerns

• Many pedagogical tools: chapter summaries, exercises (with sketch solutions and hints), comprehensive glossary, Internet support for students and instructors, accessible at

• Ideal for use by lecturers as a coherent one-term course or module on distributed systems

Written with undergraduates in mind, especially relevant for intermediate-level students, this user-friendly textbook will prove a clear and comprehensive guide to the topic and the foundations for a methodological approach to building these systems.


Dr Phil Brooke is a lecturer in computer science at the University of Teesside, and Dr Richard Paige is a lecturer in computer science at the University of York. Both have extensive teaching experience, from which this textbook has grown.


Ada Eiffel Java Processing communication operating system security system

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of TeessideUK
  2. 2.University of YorkUK

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
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Finance, Business & Banking


From the reviews:

"Brooke … attempt to summarize the most relevant theoretical and practical aspects of distributed computing in an accessible book written for upper-level undergraduate students in software-related studies. … The presence of case studies thus becomes not only a welcome addition, but a necessary (and mandatory) section, which allows one to witness meaningful examples of the application of distributed processing concepts. … The examples and case studies are modern and appropriate. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through researchers and faculty." (L. Benedicenti, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (9), 2008)

"This book aims at presenting the reader a clear overview of the process of building a distributed system including engineering processes. The aim of the book is as well to be used in engineering disciplines. It is also highlighted that protocols and security concerns are an integral part of realistic distributed system. … Finally each chapter concludes with a coherent summary and highlights a number of exercises. … It is an interesting book and should be used in undergraduate courses as a foundational text." (Aniket Mahanti, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1132 (10), 2008)

"There is a need for books and overviews to provide students (computer scientists) with a more unified picture of distributed processing. …the authors describe some practical ingredients needed for the development of a distributed system. …Technical requirements are identified, a design is presented, protocols and security aspects are discussed, and finally some implementation details are given. The last chapter consists of some reading suggestions, future directions, and projects. The volume contains exercises with sketch solutions and hints. A bibliography, a glossary, and an index are included. Internet support for students and instructors is accessible …This book provides a concise presentation of practical distributed processing" (G. Ciobanu, ACM Computing Reviews, Vol. 50 (2), 2009)