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Efficient State Initialization Mechanisms for Shared Whiteboards and Distributed Applications

Author(s): Werner Geyer, Jürgen Vogel, Martin Mauve.
Title: Efficient State Initialization Mechanisms for Shared Whiteboards and Distributed Applications
Published: Technical Report TR-00-013, Department for Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Mannheim, 2000
Abstract: In this paper we propose a novel late join algorithm for distributedapplications with a fully replicated architecture (e.g. sharedwhiteboards). The term join algorithm is used to denote amechanism that allows a late-coming participant to join an ongoingsession. Generally, this requires that participants in the sessioninform the latecomer about the current state of the sharedapplication, so that he or she is able to actively participate in thesession once the late join has been completed. While many existingdistributed applications implement some sort of late join, a thoroughdiscussion of late join algorithms has not yet been conducted. Wetherefore identify the key issues of late join algorithms and proposea set of requirements which a good late join approach shouldsatisfy. Based on these requirements, we evaluate existing late joinalgorithms and explain why we opted instead to develop a new, advancedlate join algorithm for our own shared whiteboard. This late joinapproach is discussed in detail, and we show how it enhances existingapproaches significantly while still being general enough to be usedfor arbitrary distributed applications.
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