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If we consider context of computing, what is the opposite of distributed? Is it single or combined ? What is the opposite of "distributed system"?

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    This question would be improved with more context. Can you provide an example of a sentence where you would like to use this word?
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Aug 8, 2011 at 12:45
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    -1 for lack of context. For all I know, OP could be asking about disaster relief agencies' stockpiles which have not yet been distributed to the people in need of them. Aug 8, 2011 at 16:45
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    The opposite of git is subversion Aug 8, 2011 at 19:28
  • After 24 hours with no clarification from OP about the context, I'm voting to close as "not constructive". Aug 9, 2011 at 21:15
  • At the systems level, the opposite of 'distributed' is 'integrated'. The recent edit of the question title from "opposite" to "antonym" muddies the water a bit, there being several types of antonyms. At the systems level, candidates for "antonym" include 'integrated', 'pooled' and 'converged'.
    – JEL
    May 28, 2016 at 3:29

6 Answers 6

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In the context of databases and software applications in general, the antonym of distributed is centralized.

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  • I agree - this is a better (or at least, more generically applicable) answer than mine
    – SteveM
    Aug 8, 2011 at 14:10
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    I have to disagree here. In CS terms, Distributed is generally used to mean across > 1 machines or files. Centralized is used to mean within the same organization, building or locality (Decentralized being opposite). As you can see here, a system (software, DB, hardware, etc) can be distributed and centralized at the same time. Source: I'm a CS Graduate that studied distributed systems for my Masters Thesis. Sep 8, 2015 at 14:41
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    @JoshuaKissoon I disagree. In terms of graph algorithms, a centralized algorithm can be seen as one entity taking decisions having global knowledge of the given graph, whereas a distributed algorithm can be seen as all vertices of the graph taking individual decisions based on their limited local knowledge, accomplishing (or not) a global goal. The two seem to be opposites.
    – J. Schmidt
    Aug 18, 2020 at 15:25
  • I'm late to the party, but I also disagree. In my mind "centralization" is precisely a strategy for distributing work. A central "server" distributes work by dispatching it to "clients", who are all aware of the server's role as a central point of coordination. This definition confuses the role of the database as a server with the distinction between a monolithic server and a distributed server. Note: "monolithic" is the best word I've got, but it isn't great... Feb 2, 2021 at 18:05
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Probably depends on the precise situation, but for written technical use I would go with "co-located". "Distributed" implies different things in different locations, where "co-located" implies different things in the same location. Both of your suggestions actually suggest only a single thing (in one way or another)

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Or perhaps an appropriate word is "localized."

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Concentrated is an antonym for 'distributed' from its connotation of 'spread out'.

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  • Location: Distributed ↔️ Co-located
  • Control: Decentralized ↔️ Central

I also wrote a longer explanation

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Some distributed computing frameworks [1] also use the term single node setup. This would match a context where distributed mainly refers to the fact that computation runs across multiple compute nodes. In this context, something like local computation might be appropriate as well.

[1] https://community.hortonworks.com/questions/203614/-what-is-cluster-single-node-cluster-and-node.html

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