Distributed Computing

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 175–186 | Cite as

On the message complexity of binary byzantine agreement under crash failures

  • Eugene S. Amdur
  • Samuel M. Weber
  • Vassos Hadzilacos


The binary Byzantine Agreement problem requiresn−1 receivers to agree on the binary value broadcast by a sender even when some of thesen processes may be faulty. We investigate the message complexity of protocols that solve this problem in the case of crash failures. In particular, we derive matching upper and lower bounds on the total, worst and average case number of meassages needed in the failure-free executions of such protocols.

More specifically, we prove that any protocol that tolerates up tot faulty processes requires a total of at leastn+t−1 messages in its failure-free executions —and, therefore, at least [(n+t−1)/2] messages in the worst case and min (P0,P1)·(n+t−1) meassages in the average case, wherePv is the probability that the value of the bit that the sender wants to broadcast isv. We also give protocols that solve the problem using only the minimum number of meassages for these three complexity measures. These protocols can be implemented by using 1-bit messages. Since a lower bound on the number of messages is also a lower bound on the number of meassage bits, this means that the above tight bounds on the number of messages are also tight bounds on the number of meassage bits.

Key words

Fault-tolerance Agreement Distributed system 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene S. Amdur
    • 1
  • Samuel M. Weber
    • 1
  • Vassos Hadzilacos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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