Regret Freedom Isn’t Free

  • Edmund L. Wong
  • Isaac Levy
  • Lorenzo Alvisi
  • Allen Clement
  • Mike Dahlin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7109)


Cooperative, peer-to-peer (P2P) services—distributed systems consisting of participants from multiple administrative domains (MAD)—must deal with the threat of arbitrary (Byzantine) failures while incentivizing the cooperation of potentially selfish (rational) nodes that such services rely on to function. This paper investigates how to specify conditions (i.e., a solution concept) for rational cooperation in an environment that also contains Byzantine and obedient peers. We find that regret-free approaches—which, inspired by traditional Byzantine fault tolerance, condition rational cooperation on identifying a strategy that proves a best response regardless of how Byzantine failures occur—are unattainable in many fault-tolerant distributed systems. We suggest an alternative regret-braving approach, in which rational nodes aim to best respond to their expectations regarding Byzantine failures: the chosen strategy guarantees no regret only to the extent that such expectations prove correct. While work on regret-braving solution concepts is just beginning, our preliminary results show that these solution concepts are not subject to the fundamental limitations inherent to regret freedom.


Solution Concept Cheap Talk Rational Node Coalition Member Rational Cooperation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edmund L. Wong
    • 1
  • Isaac Levy
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Alvisi
    • 1
  • Allen Clement
    • 2
  • Mike Dahlin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceThe University of Texas at AustinUSA
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Software SystemsGermany

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