From static distributed systems to dynamic systems

Achour Mostefaoui, Michel Raynal, Corentin Travers, Stacy Patterson, Divyakant Agrawal, Amr El Abbadi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


A noteworthy advance in distributed computing is due to the recent development of peer-to-peer systems. These systems are essentially dynamic in the sense that no process can get a global knowledge on the system structure. They mainly allow processes to look up for data that can be dynamically added/suppressed inpermanently evolving set of nodes. Although protocols have been developed for such dynamic systems, to our knowledge, up to date no computation model for dynamic systems has been proposed. Nevertheless, there is a strong demand for the definition of such models as soon as one wants to develop provably correct protocols suited to dynamic systems. This paper proposes a model for (a class of) dynamic systems. That dynamic model is defined by (1) a parameter (an integer denoted a) and (2) two basic communication abstractions (query-response and persistent reliable broadcast). The new parameter a is a threshold value introduced to capture the liveness part of the system (it is the counterpart of the minimal number of processes that do not crash in a static system). To show the relevance of the model, the paper adapts an eventual leader protocol designed for the static model, and proves that the resulting protocol is correct within the proposed dynamic model. In that sense, the paper has also a methodological flavor, as it shows that simple modifications to existing protocols can allow them to work in dynamic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1541189
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Event24th IEEE Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems, SRDS 2005 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 26 Oct 200528 Oct 2005



  • Communication abstraction
  • Dynamic system
  • Eventual stability condition
  • Peer-to-Peer system
  • Persistent reliable broadcast
  • Query-response pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Mostefaoui, A., Raynal, M., Travers, C., Patterson, S., Agrawal, D., & El Abbadi, A. (2005). From static distributed systems to dynamic systems. Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems, 109-118. [1541189].