“Randomized Consensus in Wireless Environments: A Case Where More is Better”

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Bruno Vavala, Nuno Neves

in Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE International Conference on Dependability (DEPEND), Jul. 2010.

Abstract: In many emerging wireless scenarios, consensus among nodes represents an important task that must be accomplished in a timely and dependable manner. However, the sharing of the radio medium and the typical communication failures of such environments may seriously hinder this operation. In the paper, we perform a practical evaluation of an existing randomized consensus protocol that is resilient to message collisions and omissions. Then, we provide and analyze an extension to the protocol that adds an extra message exchange phase. In spite of the added time complexity, the experiments confirm that our extension and some other implementation heuristics non-trivially boost the speed to reach consensus. Furthermore, we show that the speed-up holds also under particularly bad network conditions. As a consequence, our contribution turns out to be a viable and energy-efficient alternative for critical applications.

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