John Feminella on Impossibility of Distributed Consensus with One Faulty Process

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101 Ave. of the Americas, 23rd Fl. J · New York

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Cross Streets: Watt and Grand. Note: Please make sure you’re signed-up for the meetup, including your first and last name. Without this info you won’t be allowed into the building by security.

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Details

We're happy to host John Feminella (http://jxf.me/), technologist and advisor, presenting on Impossibility of Distributed Consensus with One Faulty Process (https://groups.csail.mit.edu/tds/papers/Lynch/jacm85.pdf) by Michael J. Fischer, Nancy A. Lynch and Michael S. Paterson.

Talk

If you think it's hard to get humans to agree on something, wait until you see how computers work! Computer scientists call this problem consensus, and when the computers involved are in an asynchronous environment, it's distributed consensus.

For about a decade prior to this paper, computer scientists had been debating whether distributed consensus was solvable in real environments. At the time, it was known that synchronous consensus, a weaker version of distributed consensus where everyone acts at the same time, was possible — and even better, it was resilient to crashed or unreliable processes. But was the same true for distributed consensus? Can you design a distributed consensus algorithm that is resilient to these kinds of failures?

As the paper's title ("Impossibility of Distributed Consensus with One Faulty Process") might suggest, the answer is "no, it isn't possible". This turns out to have sweeping implications for the reliability of distributed systems, as we'll see in our talk. See you there!

Bio

John Feminella (http://jxf.me/) (@jxxf (https://twitter.com/jxxf)) is an avid technologist, occasional public speaker, and curiosity advocate. He serves as an advisor to Pivotal (https://pivotal.io/), where he works on helping enterprises transform the way they write, operate, and deploy software. He's also the cofounder of a tiny analytics monitoring startup named UpHex (http://uphex.com/).

John lives in Charlottesville, VA and likes meta-jokes, milkshakes, and referring to himself in the third person in speaker bios.

Details

Doors open at 6:30 pm; the presentations will begin right around 7:00 pm; and, yes, there will be refreshments of all kinds and pizza.

You'll have to check-in with security with your Name/ID. Definitely sign-up if you’re going to attend–unfortunately people whose names aren’t entered into the security system in advance won’t be allowed in.

After John's presentation, we will open up the floor to discussion and questions.

We hope that you'll read some of the papers and references before the meetup, but don't stress if you can't. If you have any questions, thoughts, or related information, please visit #pwlnyc (https://paperswelove.slack.com/messages/pwlnyc/) on slack (http://papersweloveslack.herokuapp.com/), our GitHub repository (https://github.com/papers-we-love/papers-we-love), or add to the discussion on this event's thread.

Additionally, if you have any papers you want to add to the repository above (papers that you love!), please send us a pull request (https://github.com/papers-we-love/papers-we-love/pulls). Also, if you have any ideas/questions about this meetup or the Papers-We-Love org, just open up an issue.

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