Journal article Open Access

Knowledge Connectivity Requirements for Solving Byzantine Consensus with Unknown Participants

Alchieri, Eduardo Adilio Pelinson; Bessani, Alysson; Greve, Fabiola; da Silva Fraga, Joni

Consensus is a fundamental building block to solve many practical problems that appear on reliable distributed systems. In spite of the fact that consensus is being widely studied in the context of standard networks, few studies have been conducted in order to solve it in dynamic and self-organizing systems  characterized by unknown networks. While in a standard network the set of participants is static and known, in an unknown network, such set and number of participants are previously unknown. This work studies the problem of Byzantine Fault-Tolerant Consensus with Unknown Participants, namely BFT-CUP. This new problem aims at solving consensus in unknown networks with the additional requirement that participants in the system may behave maliciously. It presents the necessary and sufficient knowledge connectivity conditions in order to solve BFT-CUP under minimal synchrony requirements. In this way, it proposes algorithms that are shown to be optimal in terms of synchrony and knowledge connectivity among participants in the system.

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