Distributed Systems Classics

2017/11, updated on 2020/08

A selected list of timeless and influential papers in distributed systems that shaped the research in the field. A good starting point for a better understanding of the problem space.

  • Leslie Lamport. 1978. Time, clocks, and the ordering of events in a distributed system. Commun. ACM 21, 7 (July 1978), 558–565. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/359545.359563
  • Leslie Lamport, Robert Shostak, and Marshall Pease. 1982. The Byzantine Generals Problem. ACM Trans. Program. Lang. Syst. 4, 3 (July 1982), 382–401. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/357172.357176
  • K. Mani Chandy and Leslie Lamport. 1985. Distributed snapshots: determining global states of distributed systems. ACM Trans. Comput. Syst. 3, 1 (Feb. 1985), 63–75. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/214451.214456
  • Michael J. Fischer, Nancy A. Lynch, and Michael S. Paterson. 1985. Impossibility of distributed consensus with one faulty process. J. ACM 32, 2 (April 1985), 374–382. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3149.214121
  • Brian M. Oki and Barbara H. Liskov. 1988. Viewstamped Replication: A New Primary Copy Method to Support Highly-Available Distributed Systems. In Proceedings of the seventh annual ACM Symposium on Principles of distributed computing (PODC ‘88). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 8–17. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/62546.62549
  • Leslie Lamport. 1998. The part-time parliament. ACM Trans. Comput. Syst. 16, 2 (May 1998), 133–169. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/279227.279229
  • Leslie Lamport. 2001. Paxos Made Simple. CM SIGACT News (Distributed Computing Column) 32, 4 (Whole Number 121, December 2001) | December 2001, pp. 51-58. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/paxos-made-simple/
  • Satoshi Nakamoto. 2008. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-paper
  • Diego Ongaro and John Ousterhout. 2014. In search of an understandable consensus algorithm. In Proceedings of the 2014 USENIX conference on USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC’14). USENIX Association, USA, 305–320. DOI:https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.5555/2643634.2643666