The Dining Ambassadors Problem

This was originally circulated as a joke e-mail among a group of researchers who were looking at "Rampart", a security protocol for replicating a computation on several servers who really, really don't trust each other. It has since become notorious, and I keep being asked for copies of it, so here it is.

So, what sort of application really needs the service provided by Rampart?

Pretty nearly everything I could think of either only needed a much simpler mechanism (which doesn't bother to give you shared consistent ordering of events), or else needed even stronger mechanisms.

Then, it came to me. For years, we have persecuted students with questions on the Byzantine Generals Problem or the Dining Philosphers Problem.

Now, at last, we have the opportunity to combine the worst aspects of both in the "Dinning Ambassadors Problem":

Exercize: program a solution using Rampart.