I'm looking for information about distributed consensus algorithms that:

  • maintain a consistent transaction log across all healthy nodes
  • have similar high-availability properties to Paxos (i.e. not liveness, but practically very likely to terminate in reasonable time)
  • make progress with 2F+1 nodes despite F simultaneous node failures
  • where failures can include complete/partial/simplex network partitions
  • work over a reliable, unicast-ordered, but potentially non-timely network
  • do not use system/wall clock time

Paxos and Raft both fulfil all criteria but the last – I'm wondering if there are any variants or other algorithms that fulfil all? I have looked but all variants I've come across seem to use some form of timeouts.


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All of consensus (and not only consensus) algorithms use time for timeouts - e.g. if no heart beat happened for X milliseconds of wall clock time, then assume an issue and fix it.

How would you define timeout without time? And in general, how do you define fail mode in your system without using time?


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