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Detecting Causality in the Presence of Byzantine Processes: The Synchronous Systems Case

Authors Anshuman Misra, Ajay D. Kshemkalyani



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Anshuman Misra
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, USA
Ajay D. Kshemkalyani
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, USA

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Anshuman Misra and Ajay D. Kshemkalyani. Detecting Causality in the Presence of Byzantine Processes: The Synchronous Systems Case. In 30th International Symposium on Temporal Representation and Reasoning (TIME 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 278, pp. 11:1-11:14, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)
https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.TIME.2023.11

Abstract

Detecting causality or the happens before relation between events in a distributed system is a fundamental building block for distributed applications. It was recently proved that this problem cannot be solved in an asynchronous distributed system in the presence of Byzantine processes, irrespective of whether the communication mechanism is via unicasts, multicasts, or broadcasts. In light of this impossibility result, we turn attention to synchronous systems and examine the possibility of solving the causality detection problem in such systems. In this paper, we prove that causality detection between events can be solved in the presence of Byzantine processes in a synchronous distributed system. The positive result holds for unicast, multicast, as well as broadcast modes of communication. We prove the result by providing an algorithm. Our solution uses the Replicated State Machine (RSM) approach and vector clocks.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computing methodologies → Distributed algorithms
  • Networks → Network algorithms
Keywords
  • Byzantine fault-tolerance
  • causality
  • happens before
  • distributed system
  • message-passing
  • synchronous system

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