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Context Adaptive Cooperation

Timoth\'e AlbouyDavide FreyMathieu GestinMichel RaynalFran\c{c}ois Ta\"iani
Nov 2023
Reliable broadcast and consensus are the two pillars that support a lot of non-trivial fault-tolerant distributed middleware and fault-tolerant distributed systems. While they have close definitions, they strongly differ in the underlying assumptions needed to implement each of them. Reliable broadcast can be implemented in asynchronous systems in the presence of crash or Byzantine failures while Consensus cannot. This key difference stems from the fact that consensus involves synchronization between multiple processes that concurrently propose values, while reliable broadcast simply involves delivering a message from a predefined sender. This paper strikes a balance between these two agreement abstractions in the presence of Byzantine failures. It proposes CAC, a novel agreement abstraction that enables multiple processes to broadcast messages simultaneously, while guaranteeing that (despite potential conflicts, asynchrony, and Byzantine behaviors) the non-faulty processes will agree on messages deliveries. We show that this novel abstraction can enable more efficient algorithms for a variety of applications (such as money transfer where several people can share a same account). This is obtained by focusing the need for synchronization only on the processes that actually need to synchronize.
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