Fast Adaptable Uniform Consensus Using Global State Digests

Andrey E. M. BritoFrancisco Vilar BrasileiroWalfredo Cirne

Protocols that solve the consensus problem have been widely recognized as important building blocks for the design of reliable distributed systems. This fact explains why considerable amount of work has been devoted both to establish the minimal system requirements that allow a solution to the problem, as well as to provide efficient protocols to solve it. We propose the use of global state digests to design efficient and adaptable consensus protocols. A global state digest is a bounded and consistent summarized representation of the local states of all processes that run the protocol. By frequently providing processes with new global state digests, it is possible to allow processes to terminate the protocol soon after the minimal condition necessary to solve the problem holds, whatever are the contention levels experienced by the system. We present the design of a family of fast adaptable consensus protocols using this abstraction. Further, a global state digest provider can be implemented whenever the same assumptions required to implement perfect failure detectors hold (basically the ability to convey a bounded amount of information within a bounded interval of time).

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