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Shared address programming is like using a bulletin board, where one can communicate with one or many colleagues by posting information at known, shared locations. Individual activities can be orchestrated by taking note of who is doing that task.

Message passing is akin to telephone calls or letters, which convey information from a specific sender to a specific receiver. There is a well-defined event when the information is sent or received, and these events are the basis for orchestrating individual activities. However, there is no shared locations accessible to all.

Data parallel processing is a more regimented form of cooperation, where several agents perform an action on separate elements of a data set simultaneously and then exchange information globally before continuing en masse. The global reorganization of data may be accomplished through accesses to shared addresses or messages, since the programming model only defines the overall effect of the parallel steps.

--Parallel Computer Architecture