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Journal of Inforamtion Science and Engineering, Vol.10 No.4, pp.449-469 (December 1994)
Object Movements in a Heterogeneous
Distributed Smalltalk

Feng-Jian Wang, Yen-Sung Lee and Jin-Woei Hwang
Institute of Computer Science and Information Engineering
National Chiao Tung University
Hsinchu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

A distributed Smalltalk is a distributed system whose subsystems are Small-talks. Different Smalltalks may contain classes of the same name but different definitions or even different names. Thus, objects being moved between Smalltalks may not be able to preserve data and functions in the destination Smalltalk completely unless definitions are moved also. This paper proposes another concept; a movement lets the destination site store the moved object as an instance of the class found most suitable. The class found is called similar. The paper first discusses the information useful in selecting the most suitable class (similar class) in the destination Smalltalk. Based on this information, several searching algorithms are discussed, and their complexities are presented. Furthermore, two objectmoving mechanisms that apply these algorithms are presented and implementation is described.

Keywords: object movement, similar class, structure status, distributed objectoriented system

Received September 3, 1993; revised May 19, 1994.
Communicated by Y. S. Kuo.