Mobile Groups

Raimundo José de Araujo Macêdo, Flávio Morais de Assis Silva

Group communication has been proved as an effective abstraction for constructing reliable distributed applications [5]. Traditional group communication systems [4, 5, 6, 7, 8] are based on static processes. However, static processes are no longer the unique way of structuring distributed applications. Currently, some form of migrating process, i.e., a process that can change its location in the environment during its execution, is being frequently proposed as a basic component for designing distributed applications. Similarly to distributed applications based on static processes, applications based on processes that can migrate also need forms of reliable cooperation between processes. In order to fulfil part of this requirement, we present the concept of mobile groups. Analogously to traditional group systems, mobile groups also provide message delivery guarantees and a sort of virtual synchrony. However, mobile groups provide these guarantees despite the mobility of their members. Furthermore, they make process mobility not only visible for the group, but also consistently ordered with other group actions (such as process crashes, joins and leaves). In this paper we formally define mobile groups, specify the properties of a membership protocol for such groups, present the protocol itself, and prove its correctness.

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