An O(1) RMRs leader election algorithm

Wojciech Golab, Danny Hendler, Philipp Woelfel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The leader election problem is a fundamental distributed coordination problem. We present leader election algorithms for the cache-coherent (CC) and distributed shared memory (DSM) models using reads and writes only, for which the number of remote memory references (RMRs) is constant in the worst case. The algorithms use splitter-like objects [6, 8] in a novel way for the efficient partitioning of processes into disjoint sets that share work. As there is an Ω(log n/ log log n) lower bound on the RMR complexity of mutual exclusion for n processes using reads and writes only [4], our result separates the mutual exclusion and leader election problems in terms of RMR complexity in both the CC and DSM models. Our result also implies that any algorithm using reads, writes and one-time test-and-set objects can be simulated by an algorithm using reads and writes with only a constant blowup of the RMR complexity. Anderson, Herman and Kim raise the question of whether conditional primitives such as test-and-set and compare-and-swap are stronger than read and write for the implementation of local-spin mutual exclusion [3]. We provide a negative answer to this question, at least for one-time test-and-set.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 25th Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing 2006
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)1595933840, 9781595933843
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event25th Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing 2006 - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: 23 Jul 200626 Jul 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing


Conference25th Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDenver, CO


  • Leader election
  • Mutual exclusion
  • Remote memory references
  • Shared memory
  • Test-and-set

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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