Fork-consistent constructions from registers

Majuntke, M. and Dobre, D. and Cachin, C. and Suri, Neeraj (2011) Fork-consistent constructions from registers. In: Principles of Distributed Systems. UNSPECIFIED, pp. 283-298. ISBN 9783642258725

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Users increasingly execute services online at remote providers, but they may have security concerns and not always trust the providers. Fork-consistent emulations offer one way to protect the clients of a remote service, which is usually correct but may suffer from Byzantine faults. They feature linearizability as long as the service behaves correctly, and gracefully degrade to fork-consistent semantics in case the service becomes faulty. This guarantees data integrity and service consistency to the clients. All currently known fork-consistent emulations require the execution of non-trivial computation steps by the service. From a theoretical viewpoint, such a service constitutes a read-modify-write object, representing the strongest object in Herlihy's wait-free hierarchy [1]. A read-modify-write object is much more powerful than a shared memory made of so-called registers, which lie in the weakest class of all shared objects in this hierarchy. In practical terms, it is important to reduce the complexity and cost of a remote service implementation as computation resources are typically more expensive than storage resources. In this paper, we address the fundamental structure of a fork-consistent emulation and ask the question: Can one provide a fork-consistent emulation in which the service does not execute computation steps, but can be realized only by a shared memory? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Specifically, we provide two such algorithms that can be built only from registers: A fork-linearizable construction of a universal type, in which operations are allowed to abort under concurrency, and a weakly fork-linearizable emulation of a shared memory that ensures wait-freedom when the registers are correct. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

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14 Oct 2019 13:46
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21 Sep 2023 03:59