Dynamic reconfiguration: Abstraction and optimal asynchronous solution

Alexander Spiegelman, Idit Keidar, Dahlia Malkhi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Providing clean and efficient foundations and tools for reconfiguration is a crucial enabler for distributed system management today. This work takes a step towards developing such foundations. It considers classic fault-tolerant atomic objects emulated on top of a static set of fault-prone servers, and turns them into dynamic ones. The specification of a dynamic object extends the corresponding static (non-dynamic) one with an API for changing the underlying set of faultprone servers. Thus, in a dynamic model, an object can start in some configuration and continue in a different one. Its liveness is preserved through the reconfigurations it undergoes, tolerating a versatile set of faults as it shifts from one configuration to another. In this paper we present a general abstraction for asynchronous reconfiguration, and exemplify its usefulness for building two dynamic objects: a read/write register and a max-register. We first define a dynamic model with a clean failure condition that allows an administrator to reconfigure the system and switch off a server once the reconfiguration operation removing it completes. We then define the Reconfiguration abstraction and show how it can be used to build dynamic registers and max-registers. Finally, we give an optimal asynchronous algorithm implementing the Reconfiguration abstraction, which in turn leads to the first asynchronous (consensus-free) dynamic register emulation with optimal complexity. More concretely, faced with n requests for configuration changes, the number of configurations that the dynamic register is implemented over is n; and the complexity of each client operation is O(n).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication31st International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2017
EditorsAndrea W. Richa
ISBN (Electronic)9783959770538
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017
Event31st International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2017 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 16 Oct 201720 Oct 2017

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs


Conference31st International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2017


  • Dynamic objects
  • Optimal algorithm
  • Reconfiguration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


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