DistOS-2011W Observation Quorum

From Soma-notes
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In class on Thursday, Scott brought up the idea of tracking a contract by making a minimal set of details available to all (i.e., everyone knows the parties involved in the contract, and whether the contract was fulfilled). Taking this a little further, our group considered the existence of an anonymous, distributed quorum of observers.

This quorum would, upon the creation of a contract, be given a summary of the contract (for example, Company A has agreed to cache data for Company B on a given day, while Company B will reciprocate the following day). Over the term of the contract, the individual systems in the quorum would test the contract to see if the terms had been met. At the end of the contract period, the systems would provide a "vote" declaring whether they witnessed the contract being fulfilled.

This system could also be extended to monitor general actions. Consider again this set of observers, however, now they connect at random to various websites, and take a snapshot of all connections to it. At any given time, no other user knows which system the observers will be monitoring. In other words, the observers are analogous to police patrols, albeit with no set patrol route.

Random other things that need more detail

  • Contract Witnesses
  • Signed observations