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Distributed Algorithms (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) Hardcover – March 15, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-1558603486 ISBN-10: 1558603484 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems
  • Hardcover: 904 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (March 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558603484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558603486
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.7 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Shows students, programmers, system designers and researchers how to design, implement, and analyze distributed algorithms. Familiarizes readers with the most important problems, algorithms, and impossibility results in the area.

Provides the basic mathematical tools for designing new algorithms and proving new impossibility results. Teaches how to reason carefully about distributed algorithms--to model them formally, devise precise specifications for their required behavior, prove their correctness, and evaluate their performance with realistic measures.

Features:
* The most significant algorithms and impossibility results in the area, all in a simple automata-theoretic setting.
* The algorithms are proved correct, and their complexity analyzed according to precisely-defined complexity measures.
* The problems covered include resource allocation, communication, consensus among distributed processors, data consistency, deadlock detection, leader election, global snapshots, and many others.

The material is organized according to the system model -- first, according to the timing model, and then, by the interprocess communication mechanism. The material on system models is isolated into separate chapters for easy reference. -- Book Description

This is the finest texbook it has been my pleasure to review, and I strongly recommend it to both the specialist and the merely interested reader. The real contribution comes from the presentation of so many algorithms in a common and usable style. It does for distributed algorithms what Knuth Volume I did for sequential ones. -- Julian Padget (Mathematical Reviews, January 1997)

From the Back Cover

In Distributed Algorithms, Nancy Lynch provides a blueprint for designing, implementing, and analyzing distributed algorithms. She directs her book at a wide audience, including students, programmers, system designers, and researchers.



Distributed Algorithms contains the most significant algorithms and impossibility results in the area, all in a simple automata-theoretic setting. The algorithms are proved correct, and their complexity is analyzed according to precisely defined complexity measures. The problems covered include resource allocation, communication, consensus among distributed processes, data consistency, deadlock detection, leader election, global snapshots, and many others.



The material is organized according to the system model-first by the timing model and then by the interprocess communication mechanism. The material on system models is isolated in separate chapters for easy reference.



The presentation is completely rigorous, yet is intuitive enough for immediate comprehension. This book familiarizes readers with important problems, algorithms, and impossibility results in the area: readers can then recognize the problems when they arise in practice, apply the algorithms to solve them, and use the impossibility results to determine whether problems are unsolvable. The book also provides readers with the basic mathematical tools for designing new algorithms and proving new impossibility results. In addition, it teaches readers how to reason carefully about distributed algorithms-to model them formally, devise precise specifications for their required behavior, prove their correctness, and evaluate their performance with realistic measures.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By JS on February 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a classic, and I was excited when I learned that this excellent reference work is also available as a Kindle edition.

Unfortunately, the technical quality of the Kindle version is extremely poor. In particular, many parts of it are very difficult to follow because of several technical errors that have been introduced in the conversion of the printed book into Kindle edition.

The Kindle edition is barely useful as a reference if you already have read the printed book, and just want to quickly look up some definitions or references. Trying to read any non-trivial fragment of the Kindle version is a painful experience.

- - -

I am giving here just some examples of the issues that should have been easy to spot before publishing the Kindle version of the book.

Throughout the book, there are numerous strange errors in mathematical formulas. There are confusing mistakes such as using $o(n)$ instead of $O(n)$, or replacing the floor notation with brackets "[...]", or replacing the $\ge$ symbol with text "VI". In many places, the book uses $\epsilon$ instead of $\in$, "U" instead of $\cup$, "V" instead of $\vee$, "." instead of $\cdot$, etc.

There are lots of alignment issues; superscripts and subscripts are often lost. Spacing is wrong, for example, there is often "O (n log n)" instead of "O(n log n)" or "O (logn)" instead of "O(log n)". Hyphens and minus signs are wildly mixed up even within a single paragraph of text. In general, you can expect all kinds of mistakes that happen when you try to apply OCR to mathematical formulas, without carefully proofreading the end result.

Many text fragments - more complicated formulas, algorithm listings, etc. - seem to be low-resolution scanned images.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Boris Aleksandrovsky on March 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Professor's Nancy Lynch's "Distributed Algorithms" is a definite reference for theoretical treatments of many hard problems in distributed computing. It is a textbook, but written in such a clear style that makes it almost a pleasure read. Rarely have I seen something like that! The book has a right proportion of theoretical proofs, practical applications, philosophical appreciation of the problems, research questions, examples and study points.
"Distributed Algorithms" has 3 main parts - synchronous, asynchronous and partially synchronous network algorisms. Each part describes consensus resolution, mutual exclusion, resource allocation, leader election, termination detection and failure detection as main problems in distributed computing theory. Lynch has done a masterful job of leading us from simple to complex, from theoretically solvable to practically intractable problems.
For a practitioner of computer science, who is not necessarily involved in fundamental research, this book gives a clear appreciation of problems of 2PC, resource management, failure profiles in faulty and noisy networks, optimization and fault management in distributed networks. All those things are foundations of databases, network computing and enterprise scalability. It also helped me greatly in estimating the best and worst case boundaries in certain practical distributed system optimization problems.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jan Van Oort on September 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Together with Mrs. Lynch's other book "Atomic Transactions", this book has been my "Bible" for years already. And now that I am starting my own company in software development, I think about making this book obligatory reading for my first new employee. Not only because of the nature of its contents, but also because of the way these are presented, and the thought-work behind it. Ideas like the provability of algorithms, seeing the user as an automaton and showing that Lamport time >>really>> works, are rare to be found together in the same textbook. This book puts research back where it belongs: before practice, not over it. Mrs. Lynch has done a great job. It is upon this work of hers, together with "Atomic Transactions", that the IOA specification language is based, created in the LCS of MIT. IOA is now in near-operational working order, and puts into application almost all of the thoughts expressed in this book.

A must-read for any software engineer who takes him-/herself seriously.
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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is in the same class as "Discrete mathematics" by Knuth and others. Important topic, extensive coverage, good English, zero vendor's propaganda. Super. An unexpected gift from up above (after struggling with reams of MS's (dis) information <g>.) I am working on something distributed and ran into this book accidentally, while browsing in a bookstore--I'm glad I did. Btw, it's a few bucks cheaper in B&N store (here goes my review <g>.)
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