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Enhancing the fault-tolerance of nonmasking programs

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2 Author(s)
Kulkarni, S.S. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Michigan State Univ., USA ; Ebnenasir, A.

In this paper we focus on automated techniques to enhance the fault-tolerance of a nonmasking fault-tolerant program to masking. A masking program continually satisfies its specification even if faults occur. By contrast, a nonmasking program merely guarantees that after faults stop occurring, the program recovers to states from where it continually satisfies its specification. Until the recovery is complete, however a nonmasking program can violate its (safety) specification. Thus, the problem of enhancing fault-tolerance from nonmasking to masking requires that safety be added and recovery be preserved. We focus on this enhancement problem for high atomicity programs-where each process can read all variables-and for distributed programs-where restrictions are imposed on what processes can read and write. We present a sound and complete algorithm for high atomicity programs and a sound algorithm for distributed programs. We also argue that our algorithms are simpler than previous algorithms, where masking fault-tolerance is added to a fault-intolerant program. Hence, these algorithms can partially reap the benefits of automation when the cost of adding masking fault-tolerance to a fault-intolerant program is high. To illustrate these algorithms, we show how the masking fault-tolerant programs for triple modular redundancy and Byzantine agreement can be obtained by enhancing the fault-tolerance of the corresponding nonmasking versions. We also discuss how the derivation of these programs is simplified when we begin with a nonmasking fault-tolerant program.

Published in:

Distributed Computing Systems, 2003. Proceedings. 23rd International Conference on

Date of Conference:

19-22 May 2003