The ability to reach consensus between hosts, whether for addressing, primary election, locking, or coordination, is a fundamental necessity of modern distributed systems. The Paxos algorithm is at the heart of how we achieve distributed consensus today and as such has been the subject of extensive research to extend and optimise the algorithm for practical distributed systems.
In the talk, we revisit the underlying theory behind Paxos, weakening its original requirements and generalising the algorithm. We demonstrate that Paxos is, in fact, a single point on a broad spectrum of approaches to consensus and conclude by arguing that other points on this spectrum offer a much-improved foundation for constructing scalable, resilient and high performance distributed systems.
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University of Cambridge, Researcher
I am a PhD student in the System Research Group at Cambridge University’s, Department of Computer Science and Technology, under the supervision of Prof. Jon Crowcroft. My research interests are consistency, fault-tolerance and performance in distributed systems, specializing in distributed consensus algorithms. In 2014, I received my BA in Computer Science from Cambridge University and I have previously worked as an undergraduate researcher at the Cambridge University and at VMware Research. I am probably most widely known for my generalization of Leslie Lamport’s Paxos algorithm for solving consensus, known as Flexible Paxos.