Cooperative asynchronous update of shared memory

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11 Scopus citations


The Write-All problem for an asynchronous shared-memory system has the objective for the processes to update the contents of a set of shared registers, while minimizing the total number of read and write operations. First abstracted by Kanellakis and Shvartsman [12], Write-All is among the standard problems in distributed computing. The model consists of n asynchronous processes and n registers, where every process can read and write to any register. Processes may fail by crashing. The most efficient previously known deterministic algorithm performs O(n1+ε) reads and writes, for an arbitrary fixed constant ε > 0, and is due to Anderson and Woll [4], This paper presents a new deterministic algorithm that performs O(n polylog n) read/write operations, thus improving the best previously known upper bound from polynomial to polylogarithmic in the average number of read/write operations per process. Using an approach to store and retrieve information about progress made in auxiliary registers, the novelty of the new algorithm is in using a family of multi-partite graphs with expansion properties to structure a set of registers as a graph and then have each asynchronous process explore a part of the graph according to its pattern of traversals. An explicit instantiation of our Write-All algorithm, based on best-known polynomial-time constructions of lossless expanders and a-expanding graphs, performs n · 2O (log3 logn) reads and writes. In this explicit solution to Write-All, the processes perform asymptotically less read/write operations than the most efficient non-explicit solution known before.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-739
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event13th Color Imaging Conference: Color Science, Systems, Technologies, and Applications - Scottsdale, AZ, United States
Duration: Nov 7 2005Nov 11 2005


  • Asynchrony
  • Disperser
  • Distributed algorithm
  • Expander
  • Problem Write-All
  • Read and write register
  • Work efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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