By total-ordering I mean the following definition[0]:

Total Event Ordering: Controller replicas should process events in the same order and subsequently all controller application instances should reach the same internal state.

If my understanding is correct, there isn't any difference and the two words can be used interchangeably. However, I would like to make sure I am not mistaken.

In the case both concepts are different, could you stress their differences and perhaps provide an example? That would be very much appreciated!

Thank you,

[0] - https://www.cs.princeton.edu/~jrex/papers/ravana15.pdf

  • $\begingroup$ What is total-ordering consistency in this context? (A rigorous definition and a citation and/or link?) I've heard of sequential consistency, total store-order consistency, and serializability, but total-ordering consistency is a new one to me. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ I have edited the answer, and added details + context $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


Total, FIFO and causal are all different sequential approaches for ordering the events. Now, consistency applies to all these types ordering and at different levels: local and global.

Sequential consistency requires that all of the operations appear to have executed atomically in some sequential order that is consistent with the order seen at a local level (individual process). This is similar to serializability used in database theory. Linearizability is another type of consistency, which applies when this order must also preserve the global ordering of non overlapping operations.


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