Madhavan Mukund

Keeping Track of the Latest Gossip in Message-Passing Systems

M Mukund, K Narayan Kumar and M Sohoni

Proc. STRICT '95, Workshops in Computing, Springer-Verlag (1995) 249-263.


Consider a distributed system in which processes exchange information by passing messages. The gossip problem is the following: Whenever a process q receives a message from another process p, q must be able to decide which of p and q has more recent information about r, for every other process r in the system. With this data, q is in a position to update its knowledge about the global state of the system.

We propose a solution where each message between processes carries information about the current state of knowledge of the sender. This information is uniformly bounded if we make reasonable assumptions about the number of undelivered messages present at any time in the system. This means that the overhead of maintaining the latest gossip is a constant, independent of the length of the underlying computation.