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A Principle for Sequential Reasoning about Distributed Algorithms

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Designers of network algorithms often give elegant informal descriptions of the intuition behind their algorithms (see [GHS83, Hum83, MeS79, Seg82, Seg83, ZeS80]). Usually these descriptions are structured as if subtasks are performed one after the other. Although these subtasks are performed sequentially from a logical point of view, they are performed concurrently from an operational point of view. The current paper presents a principle for formally designing and verifying these kinds of algorithms. It is formulated in Manna and Pnueli’s linear time temporal logic [MaP83, MaP92]. This principle is applicable to large classes of algorithms, such as those for computing minimum-paths, connectivity, network flow, and minimum-weight spanning trees.

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    This paper can be retrieved by downloading the (compressed PostScript) file FACj_6E_p1.ps.Z which can be found in the directory pub/fac of ftp.cs.man.ac.uk. Stomp F.A. and de Roever W. P.: Principles for Sequential Reasoning about Distributed Algorithms, Formal Aspects of Computing, 6(E), pp 1–70 (1994). An earlier version of which is available as Technical Report nr. 9215, Christian-Albrechts-Universitat, Department of Computer Science, Kiel, Germany (1992).

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Correspondence to F. A. Stomp.

Additional information

This is a short version of [StR94].

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Stomp, F.A., de Roever, W. A Principle for Sequential Reasoning about Distributed Algorithms. Form Asp Comp 6, 716–737 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03259394

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  • Phases in distributed algorithms
  • Modular design
  • Modular correctness proofs
  • Assertional reasoning
  • Temporal logic
  • Normal form reasoning
  • Layering of correctness proofs
  • Communication closed layers
  • True concurrency