theory

Sorting and groups

July 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

I can’t find much reference to this in the literature (see Maus for some hints and an interesting paper) , but surely people have looked at sorting as a problem in [...]

Basic math for basic algorithms

June 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

It’s odd that all the descriptions of basic programming operations, such as sorting, rely on pseudo code or complex formal logic. All we are doing is modifying finite [...]

Understanding Paxos and Distributed Consensus

October 1, 2016 | 2 Comments

(minor wording correction and more complaining added 10/2/2016, minor edits 10/5/2016) Multi-proposer Paxos is a very clever and notoriously slippery algorithm for obtaining [...]

circularity problems in distributed consensus

August 25, 2016 | 3 Comments

Distributed consensus involves organizing a collection of independent agents – processes or network sites – to agree on some value or sequence of values. ┬áMany [...]

state equations in practice

August 15, 2016 | 0 Comments

  When people think of mathematical models of state for programs and other computer systems, it’s natural and conventional to consider state as a map from symbolic [...]

Operations and maps on finite sequences

March 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

A lot of what I’m trying to do with mathematical models of computer systems involves operations on finite sequences. Define a “finite sequence of length [...]

Process algebra versus state machines part 1

January 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

Robin Milner’s influential book Communication and Concurrency involves a take on state machines that has always puzzled me. “Now in standard automata theory, an [...]
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