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THE BRITISH COMPUTER SOCIETY THE BCS PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATIONS BCS Level 6 Professional Graduate Diploma in IT DISTRIBUTED & PARALLEL

SYSTEMS
Wednesday 6th May 2009 - Afternoon Answer any THREE questions out of SIX. All questions carry equal marks. Time: THREE hours. Answer any Section A questions you attempt in Answer Book A Answer any Section B questions you attempt in Answer Book B
The marks given in brackets are indicative of the weight given to each part of the question.

Calculators are NOT allowed in this examination. Section A Answer Section A questions in Answer Book A

A1.

a)

Outline the differences between multi-processing and multi-computing. (5 marks)

b)

What is meant by a MIMD architecture? (5 marks)

c)

What is meant by a superscalar processor architecture? (5 marks)

d)

Describe the purpose and function of processor pipelining, illustrating your answer with a suitable example. (10 marks)

A2.

a)

Distinguish between threads and processes. (5 marks)

b)

Distinguish between blocking and non-blocking inter-process/inter-thread communication mechanisms. (5 marks) Highlight the differences between local and distributed objects. (5 marks)

c)

d)

Outline how semaphores may be used for the protection of critical resources. (10 marks)

Turn over]

highlighting the impact that each has on performance. a) Outline the benefits and disadvantages of cluster computing relative to conventional high-performance supercomputing. (10 marks) d) B5. accuracy of content. with associated notes. clarity of expression. You have been asked to make a 30 minute presentation on the following topic: Grid and Cluster Computing: How are they alike? Sketch out approximately 8 content-rich presentation slides. (10 marks) Section B Answer Section B questions in Answer Book B B4. and depth of argument. (5 marks) How is speedup for a parallel application calculated? (5 marks) b) c) d) Describe how quality of service (QoS) parameters will be configured differently for VoIP and data transfer applications.A3. (5 marks) c) Outline the strengths and limitations of the message passing approach to parallel computing. a) Distinguish between datagram and stream sockets. range of discussion. providing an example of each. that you would use for your talk. (5 marks) b) Briefly describe what is meant by the scalability of a parallel algorithm. (5 marks) Distinguish between pre-emptive and non-pre-emptive scheduling algorithms. (5 marks) Outline the principal difference between peer-to-peer and client-server software architectures. (25 marks) . Please note: your answer will be assessed for its quality of approach.