Universality of Consensus

6.1 Introduction

In Chapter 5, we considered a simple technique for proving statements of the form “there is no wait-free implementation of X by Y.” We considered object classes with deterministic sequential specifications.1 We derived a hierarchy in which no object from one level can implement an object at a higher level (see Fig. 6.1). Recall that each object has an associated consensus number, which is the maximum number of threads for which the object can solve the consensus problem. In a system of n or more concurrent threads, it is impossible to construct a wait-free implementation of an object with consensus number n from an object with a lower consensus number. The same result holds for lock-free implementations, ...

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