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A framework for the provision of fault tolerance in asynchronous systems is introduced. The proposal generalizes the form of simple recovery facilities supported by nested atomic actions in which the exception mechanisms only permit backward error recovery. It allows the construction of systems using both forward and backward error recovery and thus allows the exploitation of the complementary benefits of the two schemes. Backward recovery, forward recovery, and normal processing activities can occur concurrently within the organization proposed. Exception handling is generalized to provide a uniform basis for fault tolerance schemes with the atomic action structure. The generalization includes a resolution scheme for concurrently raised exceptions based on an exception tree and an abortion scheme that permits the termination of the internal atomic actions. An automatic resolution mechanism is outlined for exceptions in atomic actions which allows users to separate their recovery schemes from the details of the underlying algorithms.