system whose components are located on different networked computers
Distributed computing is a word from computer science, about using many computers to solve a big problem. One way to solve a big problem is to use a very fast computer called a supercomputer. Supercomputers are very expensive, and many scientists can not buy them. A cheaper way to solve a big problem is to split it into smaller problems, when possible. These smaller problems can then be solved by different computers (or processors), which talk to each other over a computer network. Because many computers work together, this makes them as powerful as a supercomputer. One example where distributed computing is used is the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search.