Multicasting provides a convenient and efficient way to perform one-to-many process communication. This paper presents a kernel model which supports reliable group communication in a distributed computing environment. We introduce new semantic tools which capture the nondeterminism of the underlying low level events concisely and describe a process alias-based structuring technique for the kernel to handle the reliability problems that may arise during group communication. The scheme works by maintaining a close association between group messages and their corresponding reply messages. We also introduce a dynamic binding scheme which maps group id's to multicast addresses. The scheme allows the detection and subsequent recovery from inconsistencies in the binding information. Sample programs illustrating how the semantic tools may be used are also included.
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