Dynamic Reconfiguration: Abstraction and Optimal Asynchronous Solution

Authors Alexander Spiegelman, Idit Keidar, Dahlia Malkhi

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Alexander Spiegelman
Idit Keidar
Dahlia Malkhi

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Alexander Spiegelman, Idit Keidar, and Dahlia Malkhi. Dynamic Reconfiguration: Abstraction and Optimal Asynchronous Solution. In 31st International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 91, pp. 40:1-40:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


Providing clean and efficient foundations and tools for reconfiguration is a crucial enabler for distributed system management today. This work takes a step towards developing such foundations. It considers classic fault-tolerant atomic objects emulated on top of a static set of fault-prone servers, and turns them into dynamic ones. The specification of a dynamic object extends the corresponding static (non-dynamic) one with an API for changing the underlying set of fault-prone servers. Thus, in a dynamic model, an object can start in some configuration and continue in a different one. Its liveness is preserved through the reconfigurations it undergoes, tolerating a versatile set of faults as it shifts from one configuration to another. In this paper we present a general abstraction for asynchronous reconfiguration, and exemplify its usefulness for building two dynamic objects: a read/write register and a max-register. We first define a dynamic model with a clean failure condition that allows an administrator to reconfigure the system and switch off a server once the reconfiguration operation removing it completes. We then define the Reconfiguration abstraction and show how it can be used to build dynamic registers and max-registers. Finally, we give an optimal asynchronous algorithm implementing the Reconfiguration abstraction, which in turn leads to the first asynchronous (consensus-free) dynamic register emulation with optimal complexity. More concretely, faced with n requests for configuration changes, the number of configurations that the dynamic register is implemented over is n; and the complexity of each client operation is O(n).
  • Reconfiguration
  • Dynamic Objects
  • Optimal Algorithm


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