Kiran Bhattaram on Failure Detectors

Mar 27 - 28, 2017 · New York, United States of America

We're terrifically excited to host Kiran Bhattaram, software engineer at Stripe and writer of amazing posts and paper reports about computing and sewing! She'll be presenting on a survey of work related to failure detectors for distributed systems. 


The problem of consensus is central to many distributed systems algorithms. Failure detectors are central to the way we think about consensus algorithms. In a fully asynchronous system, the FLP impossibility result shows that no consensus solution that can tolerate crash failures exists! This simple, stunning result imposed a hard constraint on what could be solved in an asynchronous model. 

The FLP result kicked off a flurry of research into ways to circumvent the impossibility result. Failure detectors were the most compelling abstraction proposed. These augmented the asynchronous model just enough to allow consensus, while retaining most of the neat abstractions that make asynchronous systems simple to reason about.

In this talk, I'll discuss some of the history and background of Chandra and Toueg's failure detector proposal, and discuss some failure detector mechanisms that followed the paper.


Kiran (@kiranb) is a software engineer at Stripe. At work, she's thinks a lot about distributed systems fallacies and how we can observe what our software is doing. A normal day working with Kiran involves conversations about operating distributed systems and learning that she made that awesome space dress she's wearing.


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Doors open at 7 pm; the presentation will begin at 7:30 pm; and, yes, there will be refreshments of all kinds and pizza.

A little different than previous PWLs, you'll have to check-in with security with your Name/ID. Definitely sign-up if you’re going to attend–unfortunately people whose names aren’t entered into the security system in advance won’t be allowed in. 

After Kiran presents the paper, we will open up the floor to discussion and questions.  

We hope that you'll read the paper before the meetup, but don't stress if you can't. If you have any questions, thoughts, or related information, please visit #pwlnyc on slack, our GitHub repository, where you can also find some of the related papers, or add to the discussion on this event's thread.

Additionally, if you have any papers you want to add to the repository above (papers that you love!), please send us a pull request. Also, if you have any ideas/questions about this meetup or the Papers-We-Love org, just open up an issue.

Event organizers
  • Papers We Love

    What was the last paper within the realm of computing you read and loved? What did it inspire you to build or tinker with? Come share the ideas in an awesome academic/research paper with fellow engineers, programmers, and paper-readers. Lead a session and show off code that you wrote that implements these ideas or just give us the lowdown about the paper (because of HARD MATH!). Otherwise, jus...

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