Dynamic Byzantine Reliable Broadcast

Authors Rachid Guerraoui, Jovan Komatovic, Petr Kuznetsov, Yvonne-Anne Pignolet, Dragos-Adrian Seredinschi, Andrei Tonkikh

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Author Details

Rachid Guerraoui
  • EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Jovan Komatovic
  • EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Petr Kuznetsov
  • LTCI, Télécom Paris, Institut Polytechnique Paris, France
Yvonne-Anne Pignolet
  • DFINITY Foundation, Zürich, Switzerland
Dragos-Adrian Seredinschi
  • Informal Systems, Lausanne, Switzerland
Andrei Tonkikh
  • National Research University Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, Russia

Cite AsGet BibTex

Rachid Guerraoui, Jovan Komatovic, Petr Kuznetsov, Yvonne-Anne Pignolet, Dragos-Adrian Seredinschi, and Andrei Tonkikh. Dynamic Byzantine Reliable Broadcast. In 24th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 184, pp. 23:1-23:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


Reliable broadcast is a communication primitive guaranteeing, intuitively, that all processes in a distributed system deliver the same set of messages. The reason why this primitive is appealing is twofold: (i) we can implement it deterministically in a completely asynchronous environment, unlike stronger primitives like consensus and total-order broadcast, and yet (ii) reliable broadcast is powerful enough to implement important applications like payment systems. The problem we tackle in this paper is that of dynamic reliable broadcast, i.e., enabling processes to join or leave the system. This property is desirable for long-lived applications (aiming to be highly available), yet has been precluded in previous asynchronous reliable broadcast protocols. We study this property in a general adversarial (i.e., Byzantine) environment. We introduce the first specification of a dynamic Byzantine reliable broadcast (dbrb) primitive that is amenable to an asynchronous implementation. We then present an algorithm implementing this specification in an asynchronous network. Our dbrb algorithm ensures that if any correct process in the system broadcasts a message, then every correct process delivers that message unless it leaves the system. Moreover, if a correct process delivers a message, then every correct process that has not expressed its will to leave the system delivers that message. We assume that more than 2/3 of processes in the system are correct at all times, which is tight in our context. We also show that if only one process in the system can fail - and it can fail only by crashing - then it is impossible to implement a stronger primitive, ensuring that if any correct process in the system broadcasts or delivers a message, then every correct process in the system delivers that message - including those that leave.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Distributed algorithms
  • Byzantine reliable broadcast
  • deterministic distributed algorithms
  • dynamic distributed systems


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