Distributed Computing

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 167–176 | Cite as

Cheating husbands and other stories: A case study of knowledge, action, and communication

  • Yoram Moses
  • Danny Dolev
  • Joseph Y. Halpern


The relationship between knowledge and action is a fundamental one: a processor in a computer network (or a robot or a person, for that matter) should base its actions on the knowledge (or information) it has. One of the main uses of communication is passing around information that may eventually be required by the receiver in order to decide upon subsequent actions. Understanding the relationship between knowledge, action, and communication is fundamental to the design of computer network protocols, intelligent robots, etc. By looking at a number of variants of thecheating husbands puzzle, we illustrate the subtle relationship between knowledge, communication, and action in a distributed environment.

Key words

Common knowledge Cheating wires Distributed protocols 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoram Moses
    • 1
    • 2
  • Danny Dolev
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joseph Y. Halpern
    • 2
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.IBM Almaden Research CenterSan JoseUSA
  3. 3.Computer Science DepartmentThe Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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