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Druschel, Peter ; Haeberlen, Andreas ; Kouznetsov, Petr

Abstracting out Byzantine Behavior

06371.KouznetsovPetr.ExtAbstract.850.pdf (0.2 MB)


Many distributed systems are designed to tolerate the presence of emph{Byzantine} failures: an individual process may arbitrarily deviate from the algorithm assigned to it.
Depending on the application requirements, systems enjoy various levels of fault-tolerance. Systems based on state machine replication are able to emph{mask} failures so that their effect is not visible by the application. In contrast, cooperative peer-to-peer systems can tolerate bounded deviant behavior to some extent and therefore do not require masking, as long as each faulty node is emph{exposed}eventually. Finding an abstract way to reason about the levels of fault-tolerance is thus of immanent importance.

We discuss how the information of deviant behavior can be abstracted out in the form of a emph{Byzantine failure detector} (BFD). We formally define a BFD abstraction, and
we discuss two ways of using the abstraction: (1) monitoring systems in order to retroactively detect Byzantine failures and (2) enforcing systems in order to boost their level of fault-tolerance. Interestingly, the BFD formalism allowed us to determine the relative hardness of implementing two popular abstractions in distributed computing: state machine replication and weak interactive consistency.

BibTeX - Entry

  author =	{Peter Druschel and Andreas Haeberlen and Petr Kouznetsov},
  title =	{Abstracting out Byzantine Behavior},
  booktitle =	{From Security to Dependability},
  year =	{2007},
  editor =	{Christian Cachin and Felix C. Freiling and Jaap-Henk Hoepman },
  number =	{06371},
  series =	{Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings},
  ISSN =	{1862-4405},
  publisher =	{Internationales Begegnungs- und Forschungszentrum f{\"u}r Informatik (IBFI), Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{},
  annote =	{Keywords: Fault-tolerance, Byzantine failures, masking, detection, total order broadcast, weak interactive consistency}

Keywords: Fault-tolerance, Byzantine failures, masking, detection, total order broadcast, weak interactive consistency
Collection: 06371 - From Security to Dependability
Issue Date: 2007
Date of publication: 10.01.2007

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