Replication

From Academic Kids

In biology, replication is the act or ability to make a copy. (The term commonly refers to molecular replication).

  • Self-replication involves a molecule (or any other pattern) making a copy of itself
  • DNA replication is the act of copying the genetic material of a cell (DNA) to a daughter cell. DNA replication almost, but not quite, constitutes form of self-replication: it requires the cellular apparatus to perform that replication.
  • Semiconservative replication is the particular mechanism of DNA replication, of several mechanisms that were originally hypothesised, that was found to be actually used in cells.

In computer science, replication refers to the provision of redundant resources (software or hardware components) to improve reliability and fault-tolerance. Dynamic replication of data can also be used to improve performance. (See US Patent # 4432057). This applies especially in a multiplicity of computer systems (multiprocessors). Storage or backup of the same data on multiple file systems exemplifies replication. Database replication can take place, for example, in MySQL, usually with a master/slave relationship between the original and the copy. The master logs the updates, which then ripple through to the slave. The slave outputs a message stating that it has received the update successfully, thus allowing the sending (and potential re-sending until successfully applied) of subsequent updates. See also Coda and RAID.

Another example of using replication appears in distributed shared memory systems, where it may happen that many nodes of the system share the same page of the memory - which usually means, that each node has a separate copy (replica) of this page.


In statistics, replication is repeated measurement of a phenomenon, so that the variability can be estimated.


In science, replication is a synonym for reproducibility.

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