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The condition that two events at spatially separated locations are entirely independent of each other, provided that the time interval between the events is less than that required for a light signal to travel from one location to the other.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
In sequential architectures programs tend to access data that has been accessed recently (temporal locality) or that is at an address near recently referenced data (spatial locality). This is the basis for the speed-up obtained with a cache memory.
In a multi-processor architecture with distributed memory it takes longer to access the memory attached to a different processor. This overhead increases with the number of communicating processors. Thus to efficiently employ many processors on a problem we must increase the proportion of references which are to local memory.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)