IMDEA Software researchers Alejandro Naser and Alexey Gotsman, together with Gregory Chockler from the University of Surrey (UK), have received a Best Paper Award at the 2023 Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS). The conference took place on 6-8 December 2023 in Tokyo, Japan.
The award was given for the paper “Fault-Tolerant Computing with Unreliable Channels” that proposed an algorithm for partially synchronous consensus, representing a significant leap forward in the field. The novelty of the algorithm lies in its resilience not only to process crashes, but also to a wide array of communication failures, including network partitions and intermittent connectivity. This failure model poses a significant challenge for consensus algorithms, as it rules out conventional solutions based on leader oracles and failure detectors.
The researchers have successfully overcome this limitation by constructing their solution using a novel variant of a recently proposed view synchronizer abstraction. They have also proved that the proposed algorithm is optimal in its connectivity requirements, thus setting a new standard for fault-tolerant consensus algorithms. The new algorithm not only contributes to the theoretical understanding of fault-tolerant consensus but also holds promise for practical applications in distributed systems, where reliability and fault tolerance are paramount.