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Person# Seth Gilbert

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Algorithm

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm (ˈælɡərɪðəm) is a finite sequence of rigorous instructions, typically used to solve a class of specific problems or to perform a computation. Algo

Time complexity

In computer science, the time complexity is the computational complexity that describes the amount of computer time it takes to run an algorithm. Time complexity is commonly estimated by counting the

Consensus (computer science)

A fundamental problem in distributed computing and multi-agent systems is to achieve overall system reliability in the presence of a number of faulty processes. This often requires coordinating proce

Seth Gilbert, Vincent Gramoli, Rachid Guerraoui, Jovan Komatovic

It is known that the agreement property of the Byzantine consensus problem among n processes can be violated in a non-synchronous system if the number of faulty processes exceeds t0 = ┌n/3┐ − 1 [10], [19]. In this paper, we investigate the accountable Byzantine consensus problem in non-synchronous systems: the problem of solving Byzantine consensus whenever possible (e.g., when the number of faulty processes does not exceed t0) and allowing correct processes to obtain proof of culpability of (at least) t0+1 faulty processes whenever correct processes disagree. We present four complementary contributions: 1) We introduce ABC: a simple yet efficient transformation of any Byzantine consensus protocol to an accountable one. ABC introduces an overhead of only two all-to-all communication rounds and O(n2) additional bits in executions with up to t0 faults (i.e., in the common case). 2) We define the accountability complexity, a complex-ity metric representing the number of accountability-specific messages that correct processes must send. Fur-thermore, we prove a tight lower bound. In particular, we show that any accountable Byzantine consensus protocol incurs cubic accountability complexity. Moreover, we illustrate that the bound is tight by applying the ABC transformation to any Byzantine consensus protocol. 3) We demonstrate that, when applied to an optimal Byzan-tine consensus protocol, ABC constructs an accountable Byzantine consensus protocol that is (1) optimal with respect to the communication complexity in solving consensus whenever consensus is solvable, and (2) op-timal with respect to the accountability complexity in obtaining accountability whenever disagreement occurs. 4) We generalize ABC to other distributed computing prob-lems besides the classic consensus problem. We charac-terize a class of agreement tasks, including reliable and consistent broadcast [5], that ABC renders accountable.

Seth Gilbert, Vincent Gramoli, Rachid Guerraoui, Jovan Komatovic, Manuel José Ribeiro Vidigueira

The Dolev-Reischuk bound says that any deterministic Byzantine consensus protocol has (at least) quadratic communication complexity in the worst case. While it has been shown that the bound is tight in synchronous environments, it is still unknown whether a consensus protocol with quadratic communication complexity can be obtained in partial synchrony. Until now, the most efficient known solutions for Byzantine consensus in partially synchronous settings had cubic communication complexity (e.g., HotStuff, binary DBFT). This paper closes the existing gap by introducing SQuad, a partially synchronous Byzantine consensus protocol with quadratic worst-case communication complexity. In addition, SQuad is optimally-resilient and achieves linear worst-case latency complexity. The key technical contribution underlying SQuad lies in the way we solve view synchronization, the problem of bringing all correct processes to the same view with a correct leader for sufficiently long. Concretely, we present RareSync, a view synchronization protocol with quadratic communication complexity and linear latency complexity, which we utilize in order to obtain SQuad.