TY - CONF
AB - It is impossible to deterministically solve wait-free consensus in an asynchronous system. The classic proof uses a valency argument, which constructs an infinite execution by repeatedly extending a finite execution. We introduce extension-based proofs, a class of impossibility proofs that are modelled as an interaction between a prover and a protocol and that include valency arguments.
Using proofs based on combinatorial topology, it has been shown that it is impossible to deterministically solve k-set agreement among n > k ≥ 2 processes in a wait-free manner. However, it was unknown whether proofs based on simpler techniques were possible. We show that this impossibility result cannot be obtained by an extension-based proof and, hence, extension-based proofs are limited in power.
AU - Alistarh, Dan-Adrian
AU - Aspnes, James
AU - Ellen, Faith
AU - Gelashvili, Rati
AU - Zhu, Leqi
ID - 6676
SN - 9781450367059
T2 - Proceedings of the 51st Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on Theory of Computing
TI - Why extension-based proofs fail
ER -