06/01/1991 09:00 AM
Computer Engineering
Many distributed applications use replicated data to improve the availability of the data, and to improve access latency by locating copies of the data near to their use. This thesis presents a new family of communication protocols, called *quorum multicasts*, that provide efficient communication services for replicated data. Quorum multicasts are similar to ordinary multicasts, which deliver a message to a set of destinations. The new protocols extend this model by allowing delivery to a subset of the destinations, selected according to distance or expected data currency. These protocols provide well-defined failure semantics, and can distinguish between communication failure and replica failure with high probability. The thesis includes a performance evaluation of three quorum multicast protocols. This required taking several measurements of the Internet to determine distributions for communication latency and failure. The results indicate that the behavior of recent messages is a useful predictor for the performance of the next. A simulation study of quorum multicasts, based on the Internet measurements, shows that these protocols provide low latency and require few messages. A second study that measured a test application running at several sites confirmed these results.