What does “invariant partial ordering” mean in Leslie Lamport’s “Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System”

October 5, 2020 | minutes read

In the conclusion of Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System, Leslie Lamport states that: the concept of “happening before” defines an invariant partial ordering of the events in a distributed multiprocess system.

According to a stackoverflow post, Jacob Baskin states that an invariant is a property of the program state that is always true. Tieing that together with the original question that I had asked in the previous paragraph, I think what Leslie is trying to say is that because of the happening order event, we know that [in a distributed system] events will be always be partially ordered — not totally ordered.

I’m Matt Chung. I’m a software engineer, seasoned technology leader, and father currently based in Seattle and London. I love to share what I know. I write about topic developing scalable & fail-safe software running in the AWS cloud, digital organization as a mechanism for unlocking your creativity, and maximizing our full potentials with personal development habits.

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