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Reports (Research Report) Year : 2011

The Universe of Symmetry Breaking Tasks


Processes in a concurrent system need to coordinate using a shared memory or a message-passing subsystem in order to solve agreement tasks such as, for example, consensus or set agreement. However, often coordination is needed to “break the symmetry” of processes that are initially in the same state, for example, to get exclusive access to a shared resource, to get distinct names or to elect a leader. This paper introduces and studies the family of generalized symmetry breaking (GSB) tasks, that includes election, renaming and many other symmetry breaking tasks. Differently from agreement tasks, a GSB task is “inputless”, in the sense that processes do not propose values; the task specifies only the symmetry breaking requirement, independently of the system's initial state (where processes differ only on their identifiers). Among many various characterizing the family of GSB tasks, it is shown that (non adaptive) perfect renaming is universal for all GSB tasks.


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inria-00560453 , version 1 (28-01-2011)


  • HAL Id : inria-00560453 , version 1


Damien Imbs, Sergio Rajsbaum, Michel Raynal. The Universe of Symmetry Breaking Tasks. [Research Report] PI-1965, 2011, pp.16. ⟨inria-00560453⟩
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