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Article – Paxos Family of Consensus Protocols

01 Oct 2007

This has become my most well-read article. I have found references to it in forums, discussion lists, diagrams from it embedded in slides for talks, and a robust discussion and editing of it on Wikipedia.

In late 2007, the Paxos entry on Wikipedia was sorely lacking and my expertise with this protocol suggested that I should write an article to round things out a bit. It is a survey of Paxos results, specifically highlighting the more advanced versions of the protocol. Layman descriptions of these protocols were absent at the time I wrote this, and have only slowly found ground in the years since. I chose to survey Lamport’s work almost exclusively, but added several references to other researcher’s results for further reading.

To see this algorithm set in a larger context, see [The State Machine Approach ’08]