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Perfect Failure Detection in Timed Asynchronous Systems
February 2003 (vol. 52 no. 2)
pp. 99-112

Abstract—Perfect failure detectors can correctly decide whether a computer is crashed. However, it is impossible to implement a perfect failure detector in purely asynchronous systems. We show how to enforce perfect failure detection in timed asynchronous systems with hardware watchdogs. The two main system model assumptions are 1) each computer can measure time intervals with a known maximum error and 2) each computer has a watchdog that crashes the computer unless the watchdog is periodically updated. We have implemented a system that satisfies both assumptions using a combination of off-the-shelf software and hardware. To implement a perfect failure detector for process crash failures, we show that, in some systems, a hardware watchdog is actually not necessary.

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Index Terms:
Perfect failure detection, crash failures, asynchronous distributed systems, timed asynchronous system model.
Christof Fetzer, "Perfect Failure Detection in Timed Asynchronous Systems," IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 99-112, Feb. 2003, doi:10.1109/TC.2003.1176979
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