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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Oshman, Rotem (Ed.)
    Byzantine quorum systems provide higher throughput than proof-of-work and incur modest energy consumption. Further, their modern incarnations incorporate personalized and heterogeneous trust. Thus, they are emerging as an appealing candidate for global financial infrastructure. However, since their quorums are not uniform across processes anymore, the properties that they should maintain to support abstractions such as reliable broadcast and consensus are not well-understood. It has been shown that the two properties quorum intersection and availability are necessary. In this paper, we prove that they are not sufficient. We then define the notion of quorum subsumption, and show that the three conditions together are sufficient: we present reliable broadcast and consensus protocols, and prove their correctness for quorum systems that provide the three properties. 
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  3. Transactional objects combine the performance of classical concurrent objects with the high-level programmability of transactional memory. However, verifying the correctness of transactional objects is tricky, requiring reasoning simultaneously about classical concurrent objects, which guarantee the atomicity of individual methods—the property known as linearizability—and about software-transactional-memory libraries, which guarantee the atomicity of user-defined sequences of method calls—or serializability. We present a formal-verification framework called C4, built up from the familiar notion of linearizability and its compositional properties, that allows proof of both kinds of libraries, along with composition of theorems from both styles to prove correctness of applications or further libraries. We apply the framework in a significant case study, verifying a transactional set object built out of both classical and transactional components following the technique of transactional predication ; the proof is modular, reasoning separately about the transactional and nontransactional parts of the implementation. Central to our approach is the use of syntactic transformers on interaction trees —i.e., transactional libraries that transform client code to enforce particular synchronization disciplines. Our framework and case studies are mechanized in Coq. 
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  4. Inter-organizational systems where subsystems with partial trust need to cooperate are common in healthcare, finance and military. In the face of malicious Byzantine attacks, the ultimate goal is to assure end-to-end policies for the three aspects of trustworthiness: confidentiality, integrity and availability. In contrast to confidentiality and integrity, provision and validation of availability has been often sidestepped. This paper guarantees end-to-end policies simultaneously for all the three aspects of trustworthiness. It presents a security-typed object-based language, a partitioning transformation, an operational semantics, and an information flow type inference system for partitioned and replicated classes. The type system provably guarantees that well-typed methods enjoy noninterference for the three properties, and that their types quantify their resilience to Byzantine attacks. Given a class and the specification of its end-to-end policies, the Hamraz tool applies type inference to automatically place and replicate the fields and methods of the class on Byzantine quorum systems, and synthesize trustworthy-by-construction distributed systems. The experiments show the resiliency of the resulting systems; they can gracefully tolerate attacks that are as strong as the specified policies. 
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  5. Data centers are increasingly equipped with RDMAs. These network interfaces mark the advent of a new distributed system model where a node can directly access the remote memory of another. They have enabled microsecond-scale replicated services. The underlying replication protocols of these systems execute all operations under strong consistency. However, strong consistency can hinder response time and availability, and recent replication models have turned to a hybrid of strong and relaxed consistency. This paper presents RDMA replicated data types, the first hybrid replicated data types for the RDMA network model. It presents a novel operational semantics for these types that considers three distinct categories of methods and captures their re- quired coordination, and formally proves that they preserve convergence and integrity. It implements these semantics in a system called Hamband that leverages direct remote accesses to efficiently implement the required coordination protocols. The empirical evaluation shows that Hamband outperforms the throughput of existing message-based and SMR-based implementations by more than 4x. 
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  6. Graph analytics elicits insights from large graphs to inform critical decisions for business, safety and security. Several large-scale graph processing frameworks feature efficient runtime systems; however, they often provide programming models that are low-level and subtly different from each other. Therefore, end users can find implementation and specially optimization of graph analytics error-prone and time-consuming. This paper regards the abstract interface of the graph processing frameworks as the instruction set for graph analytics, and presents Grafs, a high-level declarative specification language for graph analytics and a synthesizer that automatically generates efficient code for five high-performance graph processing frameworks. It features novel semantics-preserving fusion transformations that optimize the specifications and reduce them to three primitives: reduction over paths, mapping over vertices and reduction over vertices. Reductions over paths are commonly calculated based on push or pull models that iteratively apply kernel functions at the vertices. This paper presents conditions, parametric in terms of the kernel functions, for the correctness and termination of the iterative models, and uses these conditions as specifications to automatically synthesize the kernel functions. Experimental results show that the generated code matches or outperforms handwritten code, and that fusion accelerates execution. 
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  7. In recent years, many different cryptocurrencies have risen in popularity. Since coins vary in fiat value and functionality, it has become important to securely exchange between them. A common exchange method is hashed timelock contracts (HTLC). However, this method did not support brokerage transactions that allow parties to leverage assets they gain during the transaction. We consider HTLC with brokering. The transaction fees for HTLC is a direct function of the size of the leader set. Thus, brokers are interested in finding the minimum leader set of a given transaction graph. We show that finding the minimum leader set on general transaction graphs with brokering is NP-hard. We then introduce flower transaction graphs, a common type of transaction graphs with brokering, and show that finding the minimum leader set of a flower graph is also NP-hard through a reduction from the knapsack problem. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
  9. Lahiri, Shuvendu K. ; Wang, Chao (Ed.)
    Replication is a common technique to build reliable and scalable systems. Traditional strong consistency maintains the same total order of operations across replicas. This total order is the source of multiple desirable consistency properties: integrity, convergence and recency. However, maintaining the total order has proven to inhibit availability and performance. Weaker notions exhibit responsiveness and scalability; however, they forfeit the total order and hence its favorable properties. This project revives these properties with as little coordination as possible. It presents a tool called 𝐻𝑎𝑚𝑝𝑎 that given a sequential object with the declaration of its integrity and recency requirements, automatically synthesizes a correct-by-construction replicated object that simultaneously guarantees the three properties. It features a relational object specification language and a syntax-directed analysis that infers optimum staleness bounds. Further, it defines coordination-avoidance conditions and the operational semantics of replicated systems that provably guarantees the three properties. It characterizes the computational power and presents a protocol for recency-aware objects. 𝐻𝑎𝑚𝑝𝑎 uses automatic solvers statically and embeds them in the runtime to dynamically decide the validity of coordination-avoidance conditions. The experiments show that recency-aware objects reduce coordination and response time. 
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