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Author Halpern, Joseph Y. ♦ Moses, Yoram
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Copyright Year ©1990
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Abstract Reasoning about knowledge seems to play a fundamental role in distributed systems. Indeed, such reasoning is a central part of the informal intuitive arguments used in the design of distributed protocols. Communication in a distributed system can be viewed as the act of transforming the system's state of knowledge. This paper presents a general framework for formalizing and reasoning about knowledge in distributed systems. It is shown that states of knowledge of groups of processors are useful concepts for the design and analysis of distributed protocols. In particular, distributed knowledge corresponds to knowledge that is “distributed” among the members of the group, while common knowledge corresponds to a fact being “publicly known.” The relationship between common knowledge and a variety of desirable actions in a distributed system is illustrated. Furthermore, it is shown that, formally speaking, in practical systems common knowledge cannot be attained. A number of weaker variants of common knowledge that are attainable in many cases of interest are introduced and investigated.
ISSN 00045411
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1990-07-01
Publisher Place New York
e-ISSN 1557735X
Journal Journal of the ACM (JACM)
Volume Number 37
Issue Number 3
Page Count 39
Starting Page 549
Ending Page 587


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Source: ACM Digital Library