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A Neoma is just the opposite. Any one part cannot be understood without the context of the whole. Changes in one part affect the whole. The role of a part is a projection into the whole. In traditional engineering, you understand the parts first, then you can understand the whole. In a Neoma, you understand the whole first, then you can understand the role of each part.

A good example of a Neoma is the human body. It contains the sub-systems of circulatory, digestion, nervous, and many more. But the role of each part is highly dependent on the other parts. You often hear a physician say ``I need to get the total picture first before I can treat this patient." A change in one system cannot be isolated from the other systems. Each individual cell acts independently, yet the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.

DCG is a Neoma. It contains many, highly dependent components. Together they form a distributed computing environment that works well for Stanford.

Now I have the daunting task of describing DCG. This will be accomplished by looking at profiles, missions, and user communities.

Ronald LeRoi Burback
Fri Sep 29 13:24:40 PDT 1995