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The Voltan Application Programming Environment for Fail-silent Processes

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Santosh Shrivastava

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Abstract

The Voltan software library for building distributed applications provides the support for (i) a processpair to act as single Voltan self-checking ‘fail-silent’ process; and (ii) connection management for Voltan process communication. A Voltan fail-silent process is written by the application developer as a single threaded program. The Voltan system replicates this program transparently. The active replication of applications engenders problems when dealing with non-deterministic calculations. This paper outlines the mechanisms deployed by Voltan to deal with non-determinism. The current implementation can achieve a level of performance that is suitable for many real-time applications. The work described in the paper provides a way of solving the challenging problem of constructing fault tolerant distributed computing systems capable of tolerating Byzantine failures, using general-purpose, low cost components. The present practice is to employ hardware based approaches to construct a ‘failsilent’ node using a self-checking processor pair working in lock-step. However this approach is very costly in terms of the engineering effort required, and further, as processor speeds increase, keeping a pair in lock-step execution may prove difficult.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Black D, Low C, Shrivastava SK

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: IEE Distributed Systems Engineering

Year: 1998

Volume: 5

Issue: 2

Pages: 66-77

Print publication date: 01/01/1998

ISSN (print): 0967-1846

Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0967-1846/5/2/002

DOI: 10.1088/0967-1846/5/2/002


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