Skip to main content
Log in

A simple and fast asynchronous consensus protocol based on a weak failure detector

  • Original articles
  • Published:
Distributed Computing Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Summary.

The Consensus problem is a fundamental paradigm for fault-tolerant asynchronous systems. It abstracts a family of problems known as Agreement (or Coordination) problems. Any solution to consensus can serve as a basic building block for solving such problems (e.g., atomic commitment or atomic broadcast). Solving consensus in an asynchronous system is not a trivial task: it has been proven (1985) by Fischer, Lynch and Paterson that there is no deterministic solution in asynchronous systems which are subject to even a single crash failure. To circumvent this impossibility result, Chandra and Toueg have introduced the concept of unreliable failure detectors (1991), and have studied how these failure detectors can be used to solve consensus in asynchronous systems with crash failures. This paper presents a new consensus protocol that uses a failure detector of the class \(\Diamond{\cal S}\). Like previous protocols, it is based on the rotating coordinator paradigm and proceeds in asynchronous rounds. Simplicity and efficiency are the main characteristics of this protocol. From a performance point of view, the protocol is particularly efficient when, whether failures occur or not, the underlying failure detector makes no mistake (a common case in practice). From a design point of view, the protocol is based on the combination of three simple mechanisms: a voting mechanism, a small finite state automaton which manages the behavior of each process, and the possibility for a process to change its mind during a round.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Received: August 1997 / Accepted: March 1999

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hurfin, M., Raynal, M. A simple and fast asynchronous consensus protocol based on a weak failure detector. Distrib Comput 12, 209–223 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004460050067

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s004460050067

Navigation