Report Number: CSL-TR-83-247
Institution: Stanford University, Computer Systems Laboratory
Title: Maintaining the time in a distributed system
Author: Marzullo, Keith
Author: Owicki, Susan
Date: August 1983
Abstract: To a client, one of the simplest services provided by a distributed system is a time service. A client simply requests the time from any set of servers, and uses any reply. The simplicity in this interaction, however, misrepresents the complexity of implementing such a service. An algorithm is needed that will keep a set of clocks synchronized, reasonably correct and accurate with respect to a standard, and able to withstand errors such as communication failures and inaccurate clocks. This paper presents a partial solution to the problem by describing two algorithms which will keep clocks both correct and synchronized.