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Distributed Algorithms by Nancy A. Lynch

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Chapter 3 Leader Election in a Synchronous Ring

In this chapter, we present the first problem to be solved using the synchronous model of Chapter 2: the problem of electing a unique leader process from among the processes in a network. For starters, we consider the simple case where the network digraph is a ring.

This problem originally arose in the study of local area token ring networks. In such a network, a single “token” circulates around the network, giving its current owner the sole right to initiate communication. (If two nodes in the network were to attempt simultaneously to communicate, the communications could interfere with one another.) Sometimes, however, the token may be lost, and it becomes necessary for the processes to execute ...

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