Self-stabilizing Systems in Spite of Distributed Control

This is a past event

19 people went

Every 3rd Wednesday of the month

1776 Yorktown Street

1776 Yorktown Street · Houston, TX

How to find us

Suite 100, First floor. (Free) parking ramp behind the building.

Location image of event venue


As you may or may not know I have wanted to start a chapter of "Papers We Love" here in Houston for a long time. Unfortunately I don't have the bandwidth to run two meetup groups so this has remained an unfulfilled goal for a long time.

But in the vein of "Papers We Love", I will be presenting one of my favorite papers of all time, "Self Stabilizing Systems in spite of Distributed Control" by Edsger Dijkstra (you probably know him best as the inventor of the famous "shortest-path routing algorithm") at our next functional programming meetup. This very short (two page!) paper written in 1973 describes a mechanism Dijkstra invented for keeping a set of distributed processes/computers within a narrow band of valid states in spite of the fact that no process has knowledge of the state in other processes.

Dijkstra is the father of distributed systems and it's really quite remarkable how directly or indirectly quite a lot of the progress in distributed systems algorithms and ideas have come from his pioneering work. There is a prize named after him which is awarded to the most important distributed systems research every year. Dijkstra himself won the very first Dijkstra prize for this very paper.

I will have a "working demo" of the ideas in this paper written in Erlang for our meeting in order to illustrate the concepts concretely. In the meantime, you can find a copy of it here: I recommend reading it for its own sake, but no prior knowledge of the paper is needed to enjoy this meetup.

I hope you can make it!