Fast Byzantine leader election in dynamic networks

John Augustine, Gopal Pandurangan, Peter Robinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

17 Scopus citations


We study the fundamental Byzantine leader election problem in dynamic networks where the topology can change from round to round and nodes can also experience heavy churn (i.e., nodes can join and leave the network continuously over time). We assume the full information model where the Byzantine nodes have complete knowledge about the entire state of the network at every round (including random choices made by all the nodes), have unbounded computational power and can deviate arbitrarily from the protocol. The churn is controlled by an adversary that has complete knowledge and control over which nodes join and leave and at what times and also may rewire the topology in every round and has unlimited computational power, but is oblivious to the random choices made by the algorithm. Our main contribution is an O(log3 n) round algorithm that achieves Byzantine leader election under the presence of up to O(n1/2-ε) Byzantine nodes (for a small constant ε > 0) and a churn of up to O(√n/ polylog(n)) nodes per round (where n is the stable network size). The algorithm elects a leader with probability at least 1 - n-Ω(1) and guarantees that it is an honest node with probability at least 1-n-Ω(1); assuming the algorithm succeeds, the leader’s identity will be known to a 1-o(1) fraction of the honest nodes. Our algorithm is fully-distributed, lightweight, and is simple to implement. It is also scalable, as it runs in polylogarithmic (in n) time and requires nodes to send and receive messages of only polylogarithmic size per round. To the best of our knowledge, our algorithm is the first scalable solution for Byzantine leader election in a dynamic network with a high rate of churn; our protocol can also be used to solve Byzantine agreement in a straightforward way. We also show how to implement an (almost-everywhere) public coin with constant bias in a dynamic network with Byzantine nodes and provide a mechanism for enabling honest nodes to store information reliably in the network, which might be of independent interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDistributed Computing - 29th International Symposium, DISC 2015, Proceedings
EditorsYoram Moses
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783662486528
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event29th International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2015 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: Oct 7 2015Oct 9 2015

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference29th International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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