For this recitation, you'll be reading In Search of an Understandable Consensus Algorithm. This paper describes Raft, an algorithm for achieving distributed consensus. The paper contrasts Raft to an algorithm called Paxos: you do not need to know anything about Paxos to read this paper. Raft was designed to be more understandable than Paxos.

Before reading the paper, check out two very helpful websites, which have some useful visualizations:

With those visualizations in mind, read the paper. Skip sections 5.4.3 and 7, and skim sections 9.1 and 9.2.

To check your understanding after reading:

Question for Recitation

Before you come to this recitation, write up (on paper) a brief answer to the following (really—we don't need more than a couple sentences for each question). If your TA has requested that you email your answer to them, you may do that instead, but it should still be handed in before your recitation begins.

Your answers to these questions should be in your own words, not direct quotations from the paper.

As always, there are multiple correct answers for each of these questions.