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Protocols for Dynamic Vote Reassignment

Report ID:
April 1986
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Voting is used commonly to enforce mutual exclusion in distributed systems. Each node is assigned a number of votes and only the group with a majority of votes is allowed to perform a restricted operation. This paper describes techniques for dynamically reassigning votes upon node or link failure,
in an attempt to make the system more resilient. Protocols are given which allow nodes to select new vote values autonomously while still maintaining mutual exclusion requirements. The lemmas and theorems to validate the protocols are presented, along with proof of correctness. A simple example shows how to apply the method to a database object-locking scheme; the protocols, however, are versatile and can be used for any application requiring mutual exclusion. Also included is a brief discussion of simulation results.

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