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The Space Complexity of Long-lived and One-Shot Timestamp Implementations

By Maryam Helmi, Lisa Higham, Eduardo Pacheco and Philipp Woelfel


This paper is concerned with the problem of implementing an unbounded timestamp object from multi-writer atomic registers, in an asynchronous distributed system of n processors with distinct identifiers where timestamps are taken from an arbitrary universe. Ellen, Fatourou and Ruppert (2008) showed that sqrt{n}/2-O(1) registers are required for any obstruction-free implementation of long-lived timestamp systems from atomic registers (meaning processors can repeatedly get timestamps). We improve this existing lower bound in two ways. First we establish a lower bound of n/6 - O(1) registers for the obstruction-free long-lived timestamp problem. Previous such linear lower bounds were only known for constrained versions of the timestamp problem. This bound is asymptotically tight; Ellen, Fatourou and Ruppert (2008) constructed a wait-free algorithm that uses n-1 registers. Second we show that sqrt{n} - O(1) registers are required for any obstruction-free implementation of one-shot timestamp systems(meaning each processor can get a timestamp at most once). We show that this bound is also asymptotically tight by providing a wait-free one-shot timestamp system that uses fewer than 2 sqrt{n} registers, thus establishing a space complexity gap between one-shot and long-lived timestamp systems

Topics: Computer Science - Distributed, Parallel, and Cluster Computing, F.2.m, D.1.3
Year: 2011
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