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I need a word which is the functional opposite of "dispatcher" (as a technical device, not as a person). The word needs to be used in a technical, engineering document, so the following are not really the best choices (unless there is nothing better):

  • multiplexer: slightly wrong meaning, also properly paired with demultiplexer;
  • gatherer: reminds of the Stone Age; related to "hunter" :)
  • collector: reminds of debt collectors, the collectors of transistors...

I even searched on the web for "opposite of dispatcher" and I found opposites more suitable to be used in novels and poetry.


The comments helped me understand my question better. So, I will provide some extra information.

The dispatcher is that someone or something that takes requests from one source and distributes these requests to one of the several recipients. Much like the phone operator at a taxi company, working between the customer and the car fleet.

Not the word I am looking for is the someone or something that takes requests from several sources in order to send them (as-is, or transformed / mixed somehow) to one receiver.

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  • "Receiver" is better paired with "transmitter". Possibly a good fallback alternative.
    – virolino
    Apr 13, 2023 at 14:56
  • Actually, it's sender, receiver, channel and message or signal. Information theory. You dispatch something to somewhere or you receive it where you are. So...
    – Lambie
    Apr 13, 2023 at 15:17
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    Generally, nouns don't have antonyms. What would be the antonym of "cat", for example? (mouse? dog? a word that means anything except cat?) So what you need to think of is not "antonym". What is the actual meaning of "dispatcher"? Do you mean "a module that provides the control of the CPU to that process that gets selected by the short term-scheduler." What is the actual meaning of the word you want to use? It isn't just the opposite since there is no opposite. What does this thing actually do?
    – James K
    Apr 13, 2023 at 16:37
  • @JamesK: your point is very interesting, I leaned something new today. I never even considered that POV. While there is no real antonym of "cat", the opposite of "female cat" is "male cat". Thank the Universe that they do not yet have transgenders, so the discussion can be kept simple. Also, we usually assume that white is the opposite of black - they are not opposites, just complementary, actually.
    – virolino
    Apr 14, 2023 at 6:25
  • You last paragraph makes no sense. Please rewrite it. //The taxi company example is odd because the taxi company operator takes requests from many sources and then gives those transportation requests to whichever driver is closet to that customer.
    – Lambie
    Apr 15, 2023 at 13:49

3 Answers 3

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Try 'aggregator'. This term carries implies no message ordering or other behaviour. I have encountered 'Data Aggregators' before in IT/comms so it is appropriate.

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"Scheduler" would seem to be the word to use. The purpose to this module is to send tasks to a "receiver" in some order. It must therefore maintain a schedule of tasks. It may choose to order the tasks strictly in the order they arrive or it might prioritise some takes. It may have to do some kind of management of prerequisites, such as holding back one task until another has completed, or until some resource becomes available.

But the key is that it is scheduling tasks. So "scheduler" is an appropriate word to use. This, indeed, is the term used by CPU designers.

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  • (I didn't downvote) A scheduler doesn't inherently have any sense of receiving its pool of things to schedule from multiple sources, although it often does, or sending things to one receiver, although it sometimes does. It's about making that pool of things happen at the correct time or in the correct order. I think aggregator fits a lot better.
    – ColleenV
    Apr 24, 2023 at 20:24
  • Yes, aggregator works well. I upvoted (and I don't mind the odd downvote, I've enough rep)
    – James K
    Apr 24, 2023 at 20:25
  • I know, I just hate being the only even mildly critical comment on something with a downvote. Too many people like to draw a connection that doesn't exist.
    – ColleenV
    Apr 24, 2023 at 20:27
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Thanking the comments (and the people who posted those comments), I think I have a word which comes close enough:

manager

A manager takes any number of requests from any number of sources, analyzes them somehow, in order to hand over some other "commands" to the next actors in the execution / communication chain.

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  • That is what a dispatcher does: Scheduling and dispatching drivers, work crews, vehicles or equipment to appropriate locations according to predetermined schedules, customer requests or immediate needs. indeed.com/hire/job-description/…
    – Lambie
    Apr 15, 2023 at 13:51

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