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Recent advances in multicasting over the Internet present new opportunities for improving communication performance for clusters of workstations. Realizing collective communication over reliable multicast can achieve higher performance than over reliable unicast primitives. The standard IP multicast, however, only supports unreliable multicast, which is difficult to use for building high level message passing routines. Thus, reliable multicast primitives must be implemented over the standard IP multicast to facilitate the use of multicast for high performance communication on clusters of workstations. Although many reliable multicast protocols have been proposed for the wide area Internet environment, the impact of special features of Local Area Networks (LANs) on the performance of the reliable multicast protocols has not been thoroughly studied.
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