Brief Announcement: The Fault-Tolerant Cluster-Sending Problem

Authors Jelle Hellings, Mohammad Sadoghi

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Author Details

Jelle Hellings
  • Exploratory Systems Lab, Department of Computer Science, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
Mohammad Sadoghi
  • Exploratory Systems Lab, Department of Computer Science, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

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Jelle Hellings and Mohammad Sadoghi. Brief Announcement: The Fault-Tolerant Cluster-Sending Problem. In 33rd International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 146, pp. 45:1-45:3, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


The development of fault-tolerant distributed systems that can tolerate Byzantine behavior has traditionally been focused on consensus protocols, which support fully-replicated designs. For the development of more sophisticated high-performance Byzantine distributed systems, more specialized fault-tolerant communication primitives are necessary, however. In this brief announcement, we identify the cluster-sending problem - the problem of sending a message from one Byzantine cluster to another Byzantine cluster in a reliable manner - as such an essential communication primitive. We not only formalize this fundamental problem, but also establish lower bounds on the complexity of this problem under crash failures and Byzantine failures. Furthermore, we develop practical cluster-sending protocols that meet these lower bounds and, hence, have optimal complexity. As such, our work provides a strong foundation for the further exploration of novel designs that address challenges encountered in fault-tolerant distributed systems.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Communication complexity
  • Theory of computation → Distributed algorithms
  • Byzantine clusters
  • message sending
  • lower bound
  • optimal protocol


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