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Asynchronous epidemic algorithms for consistency in large-scale systems

Ayiad, M. (2020) Asynchronous epidemic algorithms for consistency in large-scale systems. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Achieving and detecting a globally consistent state is essential to many services in the large and extreme-scale distributed systems, especially when the desired consistent state is critical for services operation. Centralised and deterministic approaches for synchronisation and distributed consistency are not scalable and not fault-tolerant. Alternatively, epidemic-based paradigms are decentralised computations based on randomised communications. They are scalable, resilient, fault-tolerant, and converge to the desired target in logarithmic time with respect to system size. Thus, many distributed services have adopted epidemic protocols to achieve the consensus and the consistent state, mainly due to scalability concerns. The convergence of epidemic protocols is stochastically guaranteed. However, the detection of the convergence is probabilistic and non-explicit. In a real-world environment, systems are unreliable, and epidemic protocols cannot converge to the desired state. Thus, achieving convergence by itself does not ensure making a system-wide consistent state under dynamic conditions. The research work presented in this thesis introduces the Phase Transition Algorithm (PTA) to achieve distributed consistent state based on the explicit detection of convergence. Each phase in PTA is a decentralised decision-making process that implements epidemic data aggregation, in which the detection of convergence implies achieving a global agreement. The phases in PTA can be cascaded to achieve higher certainty as desired. Following the PTA, two epidemic protocols, namely PTP and ECP, are proposed to acquire of consensus, i.e. for the consistency in data dissemination and data aggregation. The protocols are examined through simulations, and experimental results have validated the protocols ability to achieve and explicitly detect the consensus among system nodes. The research work has also studied the epidemic data aggregation under nodes churn and network failures, in which the analysis has identified three phases of the aggregation process. The investigations have shown a different impact of nodes churn on each phase. The phase that is critical for the aggregation process has been studied further, which led to propose new robust data aggregation protocols, REAP and REAP+. Each protocol has a different decentralised replication method, and both implements distributed failure detection and instantaneous mass restoration mechanisms. Simulations have validated the protocols, and results have shown protocols ability to converge, detect convergence, and produce competitive accuracy under various levels of nodes churn. Furthermore, distributed consistency in continuous systems is addressed in the research. The work has proposed a novel continuous epidemic protocol with the adaptive restart mechanism. The protocol restarts either upon the detection of system convergence or upon the detection of divergence. Also, the protocol introduces the seed selection method for the peak data distribution in decentralised approaches, which was a challenge that requires single-point initialisation and leader-election step. The simulations validated the performance of the algorithm under static and dynamic conditions and approved that convergence and divergence detection accuracy can be tuned as desired. Finally, the research work shows that combining and integrating of the proposed protocols enables extreme-scale distributed systems to achieve and detect global consistent states even under realistic and dynamical conditions.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Di Fatta, G.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Computer Science
ID Code:89406


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