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Asynchronous Flows And Synchronous Transactions

The figure below shows a pair of BD00 concocted models for two classes of systems; peer-to-peer and client-server:

The primary mission of an AFCS is to progressively transform a high rate stream of incoming raw samples into a higher level, abstract representation of some phenomena that’s important to its users. In an STCS, the system’s primary mission is to transform low rate user requests into information that’s important to its users.

In business support applications, STC systems dominate the scene. In aerospace and defense applications, AFC systems are king. Of course, the situation is never as simplistic as BD00 sez. Hybrid systems like the sensor-based command and control model below can be found everywhere.

For some reason (maybe market size and/or community culture and/or media exposure?), most software technology advancements (languages, patterns, methodologies, frameworks, etc) seem to emerge out of the STCS space. Those innovations that are “applicable” get adopted in the AFCS space. Hell, even those that are inapplicable (because they weren’t designed with performance as the top priority) get adopted.

  1. January 29, 2013 at 5:34 am

    “For some reason (maybe market size and/or community culture and/or media exposure?)”

    I would put in a vote for natural wiring. Atomic, ordered, predictable – fits that sequential, deterministic world that most prefer. Whilst our brain is internally doing much in parallel, I feel most of us are sequential beings by nature.

    Jim Waldo put forth the following:

    There are four levels of programming challenge:

    (1) Single machine – single threaded.
    (2) Single machine – multi-threaded.
    (3) Multi machine (distributed).
    (4) Secure multi machine.

    (1) is where most people end up with significant reductions in programmer population for each step up from there.

    • January 29, 2013 at 5:44 am

      Good points Dan. Right out of the box, we’re taught to think linearly, sequentially, and to look for simple, single, cause-effect relationships. It makes the world look nice and tidy and sane; not like the chaotic and scary mess that it is 🙂

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