Graceful degradation in algorithm-based fault tolerant multiprocessor systems

Shalini Yajnik, Niraj K. Jha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Algorithm-based fault tolerance (ABFT) is a technique which improves the reliability of a multiprocessor system by providing concurrent error detection and fault location capability to it. It encodes data at the system level and modifies the algorithm to operate on the encoded data in order to expose both transient and permanent faults in any processor. Work done till now in this area takes care of only the fault detection and location part of the problem. However, if spare processors are not available, then after a faulty processor has been located, the work initially assigned to it has to be mapped to some nonfaulty processors in the system in such a way that the fault tolerance capability of the system is still maintained with as small a degradation in performance as possible. In this paper, we propose an integrated deterministic solution to the above problem which combines concurrent error detection and fault location with graceful degradation. There exists no previous deterministic ABFT method for the design of general t-fault locating systems, even for the case of t = 1. We propose a general method for designing one-fault locating/s-fault detecting systems. We use an extended model for representing ABFT systems. This model considers the processors computing the checks to be a part of the ABFT system, so that faults in the check_computing processors can also be detected and located using a simple diagnosis algorithm, and the checks can be mapped to other nonfaulty processors in the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-153
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • Algorithm-based fault tolerance
  • Concurrent error detection
  • Concurrent fault location
  • Fault diagnosis
  • Graceful degradation
  • Transient faults


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