Our reading group is on a short winter break, and I finally have some time to catch up with reading group writing and videos. Our 81st paper was a foundational paper in the field of consensus — we looked at the famous FLP impossibility result. The “Impossibility of Distributed Consensus with One Faulty Process” paper by Fischer, Lynch, and Paterson states and proves that a consensus is impossible in an asynchronous system under even a single node/machine failure. Intuitively, this is because it becomes impossible to distinguish a failed machine from an arbitrary long network delay and that possibly-failed machine may be the key to agreeing on a particular value.
I will not summarize the paper this time around, partly because I do not think I can do it better than countless other summaries and explanations on the internet, literature, and textbooks. However, we had a really nice presentation by Tianyu Li:
Our reading group takes place over Zoom every Wednesday at 2:00 pm EST. We have a slack group where we post papers, hold discussions, and most importantly manage Zoom invites to paper discussions. Please join the slack group to get involved!