On Collision-fast Atomic Broadcast

Atomic Broadcast, an important abstraction in dependable distributed computing, is usually implemented by many instances of the well-known consensus problem. Some asynchronous consensus algorithms achieve the optimal latency of two (message) steps but cannot guarantee this latency even in good runs, with quick message delivery and no crashes. This is due to collisions, a result of concurrent proposals. Collision-fast consensus algorithms, which decide within two steps in good runs, exist under certain conditions. Their direct application to solving atomic broadcast, though, does not guarantee delivery in two steps for all messages unless a single failure is tolerated. We show a simple way to build a fault-tolerant collision-fast Atomic Broadcast algorithm based on a variation of the consensus problem we call M-Consensus. Our solution to M-Consensus extends the Paxos protocol to allow multiple processes, instead of the single leader, to have their proposals learned in two steps.

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