Anonymous Read/Write Memory: Leader Election and De-anonymization

  • Emmanuel Godard
  • Damien Imbs
  • Michel RaynalEmail author
  • Gadi Taubenfeld
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11639)


Anonymity has mostly been studied in the context where processes have no identity. A new notion of anonymity was recently introduced at PODC 2017, namely, this notion considers that the processes have distinct identities but disagree on the names of the read/write registers that define the shared memory. As an example, a register named A by a process p and a shared register named B by another process q may correspond to the very same register X, while the same name C may correspond to different registers for p and q.

Recently, a memory-anonymous deadlock-free mutual exclusion algorithm has been proposed by some of the authors. This article addresses two different problems, namely election and memory de-anonymization. Election consists of electing a single process as a leader that is known by every process. Considering the shared memory as an array of atomic read/write registers \( SM [1..m]\), memory de-anonymization consists in providing each process \(p_i\) with a mapping function \(\mathsf{{map}}_i()\) such that, for any two processes \(p_i\) and \(p_j\) and any integer \(x\in [1..m]\), \(\mathsf{{map}}_i(x)\) and \(\mathsf{{map}}_j(x)\) allow them to address the same register.

Let n be the number of processes and \(\alpha \) a positive integer. The article presents election and de-anonymization algorithms for \(m=\alpha ~ n +\beta \) registers, where \(\beta \) is equal to 1, \(n-1\), or belongs to a set denoted M(n) (which characterizes the values for which mutual exclusion can be solved despite anonymity). The de-anonymization algorithms are based on the use of election algorithms. The article also shows that the size of the permanent control information that, due to de-anonymization, a register must save forever, can be reduced to a single bit.


Anonymous registers Asynchronous system Atomic read/write registers Concurrent algorithm Leader election Local memory Mapping Memory de-anonymization Mutual exclusion Synchronization 



This work was partially supported by the French ANR project DESCARTES (16-CE40-0023-03) devoted to layered and modular structures in distributed computing. The authors want to thank the referees for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmanuel Godard
    • 1
  • Damien Imbs
    • 1
  • Michel Raynal
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Gadi Taubenfeld
    • 4
  1. 1.LIS, Université d’Aix-MarseilleMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Univ Rennes IRISARennesFrance
  3. 3.Department of ComputingPolytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong
  4. 4.The Interdisciplinary CenterHerzliyaIsrael

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