The Mailbox Problem

(Extended Abstract)
  • Marcos K. Aguilera
  • Eli Gafni
  • Leslie Lamport
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5218)


We propose and solve a synchronization problem called the mailbox problem, motivated by the interaction between devices and processor in a computer. In this problem, a postman delivers letters to the mailbox of a housewife and uses a flag to signal a non-empty mailbox. The wife must remove all letters delivered to the mailbox and should not walk to the mailbox if it is empty. We present algorithms and an impossibility result for this problem.


Shared Variable Synchronization Problem Atomic Step Impossibility Result Liveness Property 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcos K. Aguilera
    • 1
  • Eli Gafni
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leslie Lamport
    • 1
  1. 1.Microsoft Research Silicon Valley 
  2. 2.UCLA 

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