Crumbling walls: A class of practical and efficient quorum systems

David Peleg*, Avishai Wool

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A quorum system is a collection of sets (quorums) every two of which intersect. Quorum systems have been used for many applications in the area of distributed systems, including mutual exclusion, data replication and dissemination of information. In this paper we introduce a general class of quorum systems called Crumbling Walls and study its properties. The elements (processors) of a wall are logically arranged in rows of varying widths. A quorum in a wall is the union of one full row and a representative from every row below the full row. This class considerably generalizes a number of known quorum system constructions. The best crumbling wall is the CWlog quorum system. It has small quorums, of size O(lg n), and structural simplicity. The CWlog has optimal availability and optimal load among systems with such small quorum size. It manifests its high quality for all universe sizes, so it is a good choice not only for systems with thousands or millions of processors but also for systems with as few as 3 or 5 processors. Moreover, our analysis shows that the availability will increase and the load will decrease at the optimal rates as the system increases in size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalDistributed Computing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Availability
  • Coteries
  • Distributed computing
  • Fault tolerance
  • Load
  • Quorum systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Crumbling walls: A class of practical and efficient quorum systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this