Distributed Computing

, Volume 16, Issue 2–3, pp 165–175 | Cite as

Randomized protocols for asynchronous consensus

  • James Aspnes
Special Issue


The famous Fischer, Lynch, and Paterson impossibility proof shows that it is impossible to solve the consensus problem in a natural model of an asynchronous distributed system if even a single process can fail. Since its publication, two decades of work on fault-tolerant asynchronous consensus algorithms have evaded this impossibility result by using extended models that provide (a) randomization, (b) additional timing assumptions, (c) failure detectors, or (d) stronger synchronization mechanisms than are available in the basic model. Concentrating on the first of these approaches, we illustrate the history and structure of randomized asynchronous consensus protocols by giving detailed descriptions of several such protocols.


Consensus Agreement Randomization Asynchrony 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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