By association, an abstract term for anything that is the basic structure of a larger thing.

eg: Steel and concrete form the skeleton of a building, pseudo-code can form the skeleton of a computer program and a plot outline can be the skeleton of a novel.

In combinatorics, the graph formed by the vertices and edges of a polytope or of a cell decomposition of space.

--back to combinatorics--
back to Parallel Programming Languages

The idea of skeletons apply to both imperative languages, and functional languages. The basic idea is simple: in designing algorithms, certain basic patterns occur over and over again.

A skeleton can be thought of as describing a class of algorithms. Alternately, it can be thought of as a template for parallel algorithms. In parallel applications, there are several easily identifiable constructs that can be used as algorithmic skeletons such as:

  • Divide and Conquer
  • Pipeline
  • Farm -- given a stream a1, a2 ... we compute f(a1), f(a2) ... in parallel.
  • Map and Reduce -- map is essentially similar to farm. Reduce however is defined as: given a steam a1, a2 ..., and an opertaion +, the result of reduce will be: a1 + a2 + a3 ....

    There are several others but these are provided to give a general idea. For functional languages, these skeletons can be defined as higher order functions, allowing skeletons to be defined is purely functional terms. There are many languages (both imperative and functional) that support this skeletal approach, some of them use skeletons as the only means of employing parallelism in a program.

    The two major languages to pioneer this skeletal approach is Imperial College's Structured Coordinating Language (SCL), and the Pisa Parallel Programming Language (P3L) of Pelagatti and Danelutto. SCL is a functional language, while P3L is an imperative language that uses functional forms for the expression of skeletons.

    Murray Cole, Algorithmic Skeletons, Research Directions in Parallel Functional Programming, Springer-Verlag 1999.
    Susanna Pelagatti, Structured Development of Parallel Programns, Taylor and Francis, 1998.

  • A summonable, land-based unit available to the Undead in the hit 2002 game Warcraft III

    Physical Description: Well, what can I say - a skeleton. A stumpy, large headed skeleton, carrying a wide, curved sword and large shield in the colours of the team. They also sport brown arm and leg coverings and a spike on their shoulder.

    Requirements: Built at: NONE, requires: Necromancer, allows: none

    Spells and Abilities: Skeletons receive unholy strength and unholy armor upgrades at the Scourge's Graveyard. They only last for 40 seconds initially, but at the Temple of the Damned they can receive skeletal longevity pushing their maximum lifespan to 55 seconds.

    Gameplay: The Skeleton is a viscious little sod. From any corpse lying in range of a Necromancer, two of these pricks can be summoned. Their brief lifespan is made up for by their sheer numbers and tenacity - they will mercilessly attack ANYTHING in the vicinity of their summoning. However, with a low 180HP, they are easily killed by normal melee, and are especially vulnerable to dispel effects - they can be killed in one cast of a Wand of Negation, or Purge, or Detonate, or dispel magic... the list goes on. Any player worth his salt has a counter for them, but they do have their uses - turn OFF autocast raise dead for your necros, charge in to normal combat with a few tanks, and when you kill a few enemy, selectively cast raise dead. This forces the opponent to potentially lose beneficial spells like Bloodlust or Inner fire when they dispel your skeletons. Skeletons also benefit much more from unholy armour upgrades, so concentrate on those rather than attack upgrades if you are looking to field skellies.

    Warcraft III Undead Guide

    <<< Necromancer -- Skeleton -- Banshee >>>

    Information gleaned from:
    • My own lovingly played copy of Warcraft III
    Copyright information is the property of their respective owners.

    Skel"e*ton (?), n. [NL., fr. Gr. (sc. ) a dried body, a mummy, fr. dried up, parched, to dry, dry up, parch.]

    1. Anat. (a)

    The bony and cartilaginous framework which supports the soft parts of a vertebrate animal.

    [See Illust. of the Human Skeleton, in Appendix.] (b)

    The more or less firm or hardened framework of an invertebrate animal.

    ⇒ In a wider sense, the skeleton includes the whole connective-tissue framework with the integument and its appendages. See Endoskeleton, and Exoskeleton.

    2. Hence, figuratively: (a)

    A very thin or lean person

    . (b)

    The framework of anything; the principal parts that support the rest, but without the appendages.

    The great skeleton of the world. Sir M. Hale.


    The heads and outline of a literary production, especially of a sermon



    © Webster 1913.

    Skel"e*ton, a.

    Consisting of, or resembling, a skeleton; consisting merely of the framework or outlines; having only certain leading features of anything; as, a skeleton sermon; a skeleton crystal.

    Skeleton bill, a bill or draft made out in blank as to the amount or payee, but signed by the acceptor. [Eng.] -- Skeleton key, a key with nearly the whole substance of the web filed away, to adapt it to avoid the wards of a lock; a master key; -- used for opening locks to which it has not been especially fitted. -- Skeleton leaf, a leaf from which the pulpy part has been removed by chemical means, the fibrous part alone remaining. -- Skeleton proof, a proof of a print or engraving, with the inscription outlined in hair strokes only, such proofs being taken before the engraving is finished. -- Skeleton regiment, a regiment which has its complement of officers, but in which there are few enlisted men. -- Skeleton shrimp Zool., a small crustacean of the genus Caprella. See Illust. under Laemodipoda.


    © Webster 1913.

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