Randomization Can Be a Healer: Consensus With Dynamic Omission Failures

Date Added: Jul 2009
Format: PDF

Wireless ad-hoc networks are being increasingly used in diverse contexts, ranging from casual meetings to disaster recovery operations. A promising approach is to model these networks as distributed systems prone to dynamic communication failures. This captures transitory disconnections in communication due to phenomena like interference and collisions, and permits an efficient use of the wireless broadcasting medium. This model, however, is bound by the impossibility result of Santoro and Widmayer, which states that, even with strong synchrony assumptions, there is no deterministic solution to any non-trivial form of agreement if n-1 or more messages can be lost per communication round in a system with n processes.