Dynamic Atomic Storage Without Consensus

Marcos Aguilera, Idit Keidar, Dahlia Malkhi, and Alex Shraer

Abstract

This paper deals with the emulation of atomic read/write (R/W) storage in dynamic asynchronous message passing systems. In static settings, it is well known that atomic R/W storage can be implemented in a fault-tolerant manner even if the system is completely asynchronous, whereas consensus is not solvable. In contrast, all existing emulations of atomic storage in dynamic systems rely on consensus or stronger primitives, leading to a popular belief that dynamic R/W storage is unattainable without consensus.

In this paper, we specify the problem of dynamic atomic read/write storage in terms of the interface available to the users of such storage. We discover that, perhaps surprisingly, dynamic R/W storage is solvable in a completely asynchronous system: we present DynaStore, an algorithm that solves this problem. Our result implies that atomic R/W storage is in fact easier than consensus, even in dynamic systems.

Details

Publication typeArticle
Published inJournal of the ACM
Volume58
Number2
PublisherACM
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