Igor Benko
The Committee Problem and Delay-Insensitive Circuits

MMath thesis
Department of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
May 1993


The committee problem (n-party rendezvous) is a general synchronization problem that combines mutual exclusion and condition synchronization. We show that the following problems are special cases of the committee problem: phase synchronization, mutual exclusion, dining philosophers, the arbitrating test-and-set, and the n-input sequencer. Specifications of committee schedulers for these special cases and for the general case are given in terms of a CSP-like language called commands and in terms of Petri nets. Efficient implementations of the special-case schedulers as delay-insensitive circuits are derived. A number of implementations of a general committee scheduler are proposed: a naive implementation which suffers from deadlock, and several implementations based on sequential finite state machines. Different ways of implementing the finite state machines for the general committee scheduler are discussed.

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