Unleashing and speeding up readers in atomic object implementations

Chryssis Georgiou, Theophanis Hadjistasi, Nicolas Nicolaou, Alexander Allister Schwarzmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Providing efficient emulations of atomic read/write objects in asynchronous, crash-prone, message-passing systems is an important problem in distributed computing. Communication latency is a factor that typically dominates the performance of message-passing systems, consequently the efficiency of algorithms implementing atomic objects is measured in terms of the number of communication exchanges involved in each read and write operation. The seminal result of Attiya, Bar-Noy, and Dolev established that two pairs of communication exchanges, or equivalently two round-trip communications, are sufficient. Subsequent research examined the possibility of implementations that involve less than four exchanges. The work of Dutta et al. showed that for single-writer/multiple-reader (SWMR) settings two exchanges are sufficient, provided that the number of readers is severely constrained with respect to the number of object replicas in the system and the number of replica failures, and also showed that no two-exchange implementations of multiple-writer/multiple-reader (MWMR) objects are possible. Later research focused on providing implementations that remove the constraint on the number of readers, while having read and write operations that use variable number of communication exchanges, specifically two, three, or four exchanges. This work presents two advances in the state-of-the-art in this area. Specifically, for SWMR and MWMR systems algorithms are given in which read operations take two or three exchanges. This improves on prior works where read operations took either (a) three exchanges, or (b) two or four exchanges. The number of readers in the new algorithms is unconstrained, and write operations take the same number of exchanges as in prior work (two for SWMR and four for MWMR settings). The correctness of algorithms is rigorously argued. The paper presents an empirical study using the NS3 simulator that compares the performance of relevant algorithms, demonstrates the practicality of the new algorithms, and identifies settings in which their performance is clearly superior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNetworked Systems - 6th International Conference, NETYS 2018, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsAndreas Podelski, François Taïani
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783030055288
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Conference on Networked Systems, NETYS 2018 - Essaouira, Morocco
Duration: May 9 2018May 11 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11028 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other6th International Conference on Networked Systems, NETYS 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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