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The Programmer's Hierarchical Interactive Graphics System (PHIGS) specifies an interface for programming device-independent computer graphics applications. After a brief review of PHIGS concepts, an experimental environment used to study and evaluate the proposed standard is presented. The basic structure and distribution of function in this PHIGS implementation is discussed. We describe the architecture of a device-independent environment designed to realize the performance essential to the adequate functioning of a PHIGS implementation. The results presented emphasize the PHIGS output model. Full utilization of workstation processing capabilities, minimization of host/workstation interaction and efficient data management are key to our implementation.