The Shared Memory and Message Passing Models of Interprocess Communication

The Shared Memory Model

In this model stored information in a shared region of memory is processed, possibly under the control of a supervisor process.

An example might be a single node with

The Message Passing Model

In this model, data is shared by sending and receiving messages between co-operating processes, using system calls . Message Passing is particularly useful in a distributed environment where the communicating processes may reside on different, network connected, systems. Message passing architectures are usually easier to implement but are also usually slower than shared memory architectures.

An example might be a networked cluster of nodes

A message might contain:

  1. Header of message that identifies the sending and receiving processes
  2. A block of data
  3. Process control information
Typically Inter-Process Communication is built on two operations, send() and receive() involving communication links created between co-operating processes.