Towards Verification of the Pastry Protocol Using TLA+

Tianxiang Lu, Stephan Merz, and Christoph Weidenbach
Pastry is an algorithm that provides a scalable distributed hash table over an underlying P2P network. Several implementations of Pastry are available and have been applied in practice, but no attempt has so far been made to formally describe the algorithm or to verify its properties. Since Pastry combines rather complex data structures, asynchronous communication, concurrency, resilience to \emph{churn} and fault tolerance, it makes an interesting target for verification. We have modeled Pastry's core routing algorithms and communication protocol in the specification language TLA+. In order to validate the model and to search for bugs we employed the TLA+ model checker TLC to analyze several qualitative properties. We obtained non-trivial insights in the behavior of Pastry through the model checking analysis. Furthermore, we started to verify Pastry using the very same model and the interactive theorem prover TLAPS for TLA+. A first result is the reduction of global Pastry correctness properties to invariants of the underlying data structures.
© Springer-Verlag 2011
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  author =       {Tianxiang Lu and Stephan Merz and Christoph Weidenbach},
  title =        {Towards Verification of the Pastry Protocol Using TLA\textsuperscript{+}},
  booktitle = {Formal Techniques for Distributed Systems (FORTE 2011)},
  pages =     {244-258},
  year =      2011,
  editor =    {Roberto Bruni and J{\"u}rgen Dingel},
  volume =    6722,
  series =    {LNCS},
  address =   {Reykjavik, Iceland},
  publisher = {Springer},

Stephan Merz