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A demo implementation of the Paxos algorithm implemented in Python.

Project description

This is a demo implementation of the Paxos algorithm implemented in Python.


  • Python 3


pip install paxos

Implementation Notes

  • The proposer, acceptor, and learner roles of the Paxos algorithm are implemented in with classes that subclass from a common Agent class.

  • Each role/agent is run in a separate process.

  • Communication between processes occurs using Queue objects, so all processes are run on the same machine.

  • Paxos Made Simple states that “we require that different proposals have different numbers.” To achieve this, we start each proposer process’s proposal number sequence equal to its own PID, and then increment the number for each new proposal by the number of proposer processes in the system. This also seems to be the method used in the “Paxos Made Live” paper by Google employees.

  • It is assumed that all processes in the system be considered members of the system from the beginning, without needing to explicitly join the system by getting a decree passed.



  • Add a collapsed version of the roles so that each process plays all of the roles.

    • Once we have a collapsed version, leaders should retry a client’s request if they determine that the instance hasn’t been decided after some timeout amount of time. This should fix a couple issues:

      1. Learners are not able to determine whether or not there are more values to learn (when it is the last value they are missing).

      2. Since leaders are currently remembering the original value of each client request they propose, if a Proposer is asked to retry an instance (e.g. from a Learner that is missing a value) then it is possible that the value learned will be None in the situation where no Acceptor has yet accepted a value in that instance (which means the Proposer should specify the value, but since it is not remembering the original values it just proposes None).

  • When a learner asks a proposer to retry, the proposer shouldn’t retry if it has already retried that proposal within a certain time period because otherwise, by re-upping the proposal number it would be guaranteed to not have a successful agreement in that instance it is retrying.

  • With a consistent leader, only perform phase one once.

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