Barbara Liskov

Barbara Liskov

From Viewstamped Replication to BFT
Abstract: In the 1980s, research on replication protocols was concerned primarily with systems that survived crash failures, i.e., individual replicas could fail only by crashing. The talk will present view stamped replication, the earliest practical replication algorithm that provided the ability to execute general operations (as opposed to just reads and writes). Vewstamped replication is similar to Paxos, which was developed slightly later.

In the 1990s, researchers became interested in systems that could survive Byzantine failures, in which replicas fail arbitrarily. Replicated systems that survive Byzantine failures are substantially more complex, requiring both more replicas and more phases of communication, than those that survive only crash failures. The talk will present BFT, the first practical replication technique that handles Byzantine failures. BFT is a direct descendant of viewstamped replication. The talk will also discuss some new protocols intended to provide improved latency over viewstamped replication and BFT.

Biography: Professor Liskov is the Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,and a fellow of ACM. She received the IEEE Von Neumann medal in 2004, the lifetime achievement award from the Society of Women Engineers in 1996, and in 2003 was named one of the 50 most important women in science by Discover Magazine.

Her research interests include distributed systems, replication algorithms to provide fault-tolerance, programming methodology, and programming languages, Her current research projects include Byzantine-fault-tolerant storage systems, peer-to-peer computing, and support for automatic deployment of software upgrades in large-scale distributed system.

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