Crash-Quiescent Failure Detection

  • Srikanth Sastry
  • Scott M. Pike
  • Jennifer L. Welch
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5805)


A distributed algorithm is crash quiescent if it eventually stops sending messages to crashed processes. An algorithm can be made crash quiescent by providing it with either a crash notification service or a reliable communication service. Both services can be implemented in practical environments with failure detectors. Therefore, crash-quiescent failure detection is fundamental to system-wide crash quiescence. We establish necessary and sufficient conditions for crash-quiescent failure detection in partially synchronous environments where a bounded, but unknown, number of consecutive messages can be arbitrarily late or lost. Without a correct majority of processes, not even the weakest oracle for fault-tolerant consensus, \(\Diamond\mathcal{W}\), can be implemented crash quiescently. With a correct majority, however, the eventually perfect failure detector, \(\Diamond\mathcal{P}\), is possible. Our \(\Diamond\mathcal{P}\) algorithm is correct in all runs, but improves performance via crash quiescence in any run with a correct majority. We also present a refinement of our \(\Diamond\mathcal{P}\) algorithm to mitigate the overhead of achieving crash quiescence; the resulting bit complexity per utilized link is asymptotically better than or equal to that of non-crash-quiescent counterparts.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Srikanth Sastry
    • 1
  • Scott M. Pike
    • 1
  • Jennifer L. Welch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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