Topological Characterization of Consensus under General Message Adversaries

05/23/2019 ∙ by Thomas Nowak, et al. ∙ 0

In this paper, we provide a rigorous characterization of consensus solvability in synchronous directed dynamic networks controlled by an arbitrary message adversary using point-set topology: We extend the approach introduced by Alpern and Schneider in 1985 by introducing two novel topologies on the space of infinite executions: the process-view topology, induced by a distance function that relies on the local view of a given process in an execution, and the minimum topology, which is induced by a distance function that focuses on the local view of the process that is the last to distinguish two executions. We establish some simple but powerful topological results, which not only lead to a topological explanation of bivalence arguments, but also provide necessary and sufficient topological conditions on the admissible graph sequences of a message adversary for solving consensus. In particular, we characterize consensus solvability in terms of connectivity of the set of admissible graph sequences. For non-compact message adversaries, which are not limit-closed in the sense that there is a convergent sequence of graph sequences whose limit is not permitted, this requires the exclusion of all "fair" and "unfair" limit sequences that coincide with the forever bivalent runs constructed in bivalence proofs. For both compact and non-compact message adversaries, we also provide tailored characterizations of consensus solvability, i.e., tight conditions for impossibility and existence of algorithms, based on the broadcastability of the connected components of the set of admissible graph sequences.



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