Total Order Broadcast and Multicast Algorithms: Taxonomy and Survey

Total order broadcast and multicast (also called atomic broadcast/multicast) is an important problem in distributed systems, especially with respect to fault-tolerance. In short, the primitive ensures that messages sent to a set of processes are delivered by all these processes in the same total order. The problem has inspired an abundant literature, with a plethora of proposed algorithms. This paper proposes a classification of total order broadcast and multicast algorithms based on their ordering mechanisms, and addresses a number of other important issues. The paper surveys about sixty algorithms, thus providing by far the most extensive study of the problem so far. The paper discusses algorithms for both the synchronous and the asynchronous system models, and studies the respective properties and behavior of the different algorithms.

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