Increasingly, calculations are based on timed events originating at many sources. By comparing, contrasting, joining, and noodling over these inputs, you can derive some interesting results. If the inputs to these calculations come from disparate computers (or sensors), you can't always be sure of how quickly the information will propagate. Hence, you can't be sure when you will get an answer to the requested calculation.
If you can't promise when you will get the answer, what are you going to do? You can wait to get the perfect answer, or you can give an imperfect answer more promptly by basing it on partial knowledge.
No entries found
Log in to Read the Full Article
Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.
Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.
Create a Web Account
If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.
Join the ACM
Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine
Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.
Purchase the Article
Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.