Continuous Tasks and the Asynchronous Computability Theorem

Hugo Rincon Galeana, Sergio Rajsbaum, Ulrich Schmid, Mark Braverman
2022
The celebrated 1999 Asynchronous Computability Theorem (ACT) of Herlihy and Shavit characterized distributed tasks that are wait-free solvable and uncovered deep connections with combinatorial topology. We provide an alternative characterization of those tasks by means of the novel concept of continuous tasks, which have an input/output specification that is a continuous function between the geometric realizations of the input and output complex: We state and prove a precise characterization
more » ... orem (CACT) for wait-free solvable tasks in terms of continuous tasks. Its proof utilizes a novel chromatic version of a foundational result in algebraic topology, the simplicial approximation theorem, which is also proved in this paper. Apart from the alternative proof of the ACT implied by our CACT, we also demonstrate that continuous tasks have an expressive power that goes beyond classic task specifications, and hence open up a promising venue for future research: For the well-known approximate agreement task, we show that one can easily encode the desired proportion of the occurrence of specific outputs, namely, exact agreement, in the continuous task specification.
doi:10.4230/lipics.itcs.2022.73 fatcat:dvwc6i3ar5dfvl6xxtbw3dxgfe