Fault-Tolerant Consensus in Unknown and Anonymous Networks

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Executive Summary

Most of the algorithms for distributed systems consider that the number of processes in the system is known and every process has a distinct ID. However, in some networks such as in wireless sensors networks, this is not necessarily true. Additionally, such networks are typically not totally synchronous and processes may suffer from failures such as crashes. Designing protocols for such networks is especially intricate, since a process can never know if its messages have been received by all processes in the system. In this paper, the authors investigate under which conditions information can be reliably shared and consensus can be solved in such environments.

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