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Messiahs is a set of mechanisms supporting task placement in heterogeneous, distributed, autonomous systems. Messiahs provides a substrate on which scheduling algorithms can be implemented. The chief design goals for messiahs include support for autonomy, flexibility, scalability and efficiency. These mechanisms were designed to support diverse task placement and load balancing algorithms. This paper focuses on Messiahs's support for the autonomy of constituent nodes within distributed systems. The authors define four types of autonomy, show how they influence distributed scheduling, and explain how the mechanisms support each type of autonomy.
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