Distributed Computing

, Volume 16, Issue 2–3, pp 219–237 | Cite as

Arbitration-free synchronization

  • Leslie Lamport
Special Issue


Implementing traditional forms of multiprocess synchronization requires a hardware arbiter. Here, we consider what kind of synchronization is achievable without arbitration. Several kinds of simple arbiter-free registers are defined and shown to have equal power, and the class of synchronization problems solvable with such registers is characterized. More powerful forms of arbiter-free communication primitives are described. However, the problem of characterizing the most general form of arbiter-free synchronization remains unsolved.


Arbiter Marked graphs Multiprocess synchronization 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Lamport
    • 1
  1. 1.Microsoft ResearchUSA

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