The Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing is named for Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (1930-2002), a pioneer in the area of distributed computing. His foundational work on concurrency, semaphores, mutual exclusion, deadlock, finding shortest paths in graphs, fault-tolerance, self-stabilization, among many other contributions comprises many of the pillars upon which the field of distributed computing is built. No other individual has had a larger influence on research in principles of distributed computing.The Prize is given for outstanding papers on the principles of distributed computing, whose significance and impact on the theory and/or practice of distributed computing has been evident for at least a decade. The Prize includes an award of $2000.
The Prize is sponsored jointly by the ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC) and the EATCS Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC). This award is presented annually, with the presentation taking place alternately at ACM PODC in even years, and EATCS DISC in odd years. The winners of the Prize will share the cash award, and each winning author will be presented with a plaque. An announcement of each year’s prize recipient(s) will be included in the ACM PODC and EATCS DISC proceedings of that year, describing the paper’s lasting contributions.
The Award Committee
The winner of the Prize is selected by a committee of six members. The award committee will consist of the current PODC and DISC program chairs, the PODC program chairs from five and ten years ago, and the DISC program chairs from five and ten years ago. The award committee will be chaired alternatively by the current PODC (odd years) and DISC (even years) program chairs. If any of the two earlier PODC or DISC program chairs are unable to serve on the committee, then the current committee chair will find a replacement of similar stature. If the resulting committee consists of less than six distinct members due to one or more persons being eligible to serve on the committee in multiple roles, then the chair of the committee will select additional member(s) of similar stature so that the committee consists of six members.
Nominations and Eligibility
At least four months prior to each year’s PODC or DISC-whichever comes earlier-a Call for Nominations will be posted on the PODC and DISC mailing lists. Nominations may be made by any member of the scientific community. Each nomination must identify the paper being nominated and include a few paragraphs (approximately 200 words) justifying the nomination. Papers appearing in any conference proceedings or journal are eligible, as long as they have had a significant impact on research areas of interest within the theory of distributed computing community, and as long as the year of the original publication is at least ten years prior to the year in which the Prize is given.
Papers authored or co-authored by members of the award committee are not eligible for consideration. Members of the award committee can nominate papers. However, they must carefully consider nominations from within the community. Members of the award committee will be especially sensitive to conflict-of-interests issues if papers by former students or close colleagues are nominated. Members of the award committee cannot nominate such papers themselves.
Although the award committee is encouraged to consult with the distributed computing community at large, the award committee is solely responsible for the selection of the winner of the Prize. The Prize may be shared by more than one paper. All matters relating to the selection process that are not specified here are left to the discretion of the award committee.
Financing the Award
- The Prize is financed with the combination of income from endowments and registration fees. Each of ACM PODC and EATCS DISC will provide an equal share of $1,000 towards the $2,000 award at least two weeks prior to the official start date of the conference at which the Prize is awarded.
- The PODC share is financed with income from an endowment at ACM that is based on gifts from the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT), the ACM Special Interest Group on Operating Systems (SIGOPS), the AT&T Corporation, the Hewlett-Packard Company, the International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, the Intel Corporation, and Sun Microsystems. If the income from the endowment is insufficient to fund a year’s Prize, the Prize will be financed partially from the endowment and partially from that year’s PODC budget.
- The DISC share is financed with income from an endowment at EATCS that is based on contributions from several year’s DISC budgets, and gifts from Microsoft Research, the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación of Spain. If the income from the endowment is insufficient to fund a year’s prize, the Prize will be financed partially from the endowment and partially from that year’s DISC budget.
- If either PODC or DISC is unable to produce $1,000, then the value of the Prize will be the sum of the amounts produced.
- Should one party (PODC or DISC) be unable two times to produce its $1,000 share of the Prize, then the steering committee of the other party will have the option of revising the definition of the Prize and determining the venue where the Prize will be presented, unless both parties can come to a mutually agreeable resolution.
- Should both parties (PODC and DISC) be unable two times to produce the respective $1,000, then the definition of the Prize will be referred to ACM and EATCS for a mutually agreeable resolution.
The Prize in the years 2000-2002 was given under the name “PODC Influential-Paper Award”.
2015: Michael Ben-Or and Michael O. Rabin for:
- Michael Ben-Or “Another Advantage of Free Choice: Completely Asynchronous Agreement Protocols.”, Proceedings of the Second ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, pages 27-30, August 1983.
- Michael O. Rabin “Randomized Byzantine Generals.”, Proceedings of Twenty-Fourth IEEE Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, pages 403-409, November 1983.
2014: Kanianthra Mani Chandy and Leslie Lamport for:
- Kanianthra Mani Chandy and Leslie Lamport “Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of Distributed Systems.”, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1985, pages 63–75.
2013: Nati Linial for:
- Nati Linial “Locality in Distributed Graph Algorithms.”, SIAM Journal on Computing, 21(1), pages 193-201, 1992.
2012: Maurice Herlihy, J. Eliot B. Moss, Nir Shavit and Dan Touitou for:
- Maurice Herlihy and J. Eliot B. Moss “Transactional Memory: Architectural Support for Lock-Free Data Structures”, 20th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, pages 289-300, May 1993.
- Nir Shavit and Dan Touitou “Software Transactional Memory”, Distributed Computing 10(2):99-116, February 1997. (An earlier version appearing in the 14th ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, pages 204-213, August 1995.)
2011: Hagit Attiya , Amotz Bar-Noy and Danny Dolev for:
- Hagit Attiya , Amotz Bar-Noy and Danny Dolev “Sharing Memory Robustly in Message-Passing Systems”, Journal of the ACM, 42(1):124-142, January 1995.
2010: Tushar D. Chandra , Vassos Hadzilacos and Sam Toueg for:
- Tushar D. Chandra and Sam Toueg “Unreliable Failure Detectors for Reliable Distributed Systems”, Journal of the ACM, 43(2):225-267, March 1996.
- Tushar D. Chandra , Vassos Hadzilacos and Sam Toueg “The Weakest Failure Detector for Solving Consensus”, Journal of the ACM, 43(4):685-722, July 1996.
2009: Joseph Halpern and Yoram Moses for:
- Joseph Halpern and Yoram Moses “Knowledge and Common Knowledge in a Distributed Environment”, Proceedings of the Third Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, pp.50-61, 1984, and Journal of the ACM, 37(3):549-587, July 1990.
2008: Baruch Awerbuch and David Peleg for:
- Baruch Awerbuch and David Peleg “Sparse Partitions”, Proceedings of the 31st Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS), 503-513, October 1990.
2007: Cynthia Dwork , Nancy Lynch and Larry Stockmeyer for:
- Cynthia Dwork , Nancy Lynch and Larry Stockmeyer “Consensus in the presence of partial synchrony”, Journal of the ACM, 35(2):288-323, April 1988.
2006: John M. Mellor-Crummey and Michael L. Scott for:
- John M. Mellor-Crummey and Michael L. Scott “Algorithms for scalable synchronization on shared-memory multiprocessors”, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 9(1):21-65, February 1991.
2005: Marshal Pease , Robert Shostak and Leslie Lamport for:
- Marshal Pease , Robert Shostak and Leslie Lamport “Reaching agreement in the presence of faults”, Journal of the ACM, 27(1):228-234, April 1980.
2004: Robert G. Gallager , Pierre A. Humblet and Philip M. Spira for:
- Robert G. Gallager , Pierre A. Humblet and Philip M. Spira “A Distributed Algorithm for Minimum-Weight Spanning Trees”, ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, 5(1):66-77, January 1983.
2003: Maurice Herlihy for:
- Maurice Herlihy “Wait-Free Synchronization”, ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, 13(1):124-149, January 1991.
2002: Edsger W. Dijkstra for:
- Edsger W. Dijkstra “Self-stabilizing systems in spite of distributed control”, Communications of the ACM, 17(11):643-644, November 1974.
2001: Michael J. Fischer , Nancy A. Lynch and Michael S. Paterson for:
- Michael J. Fischer , Nancy A. Lynch and Michael S. Paterson “Impossibility of Distributed Consensus with One Faulty Process”, Journal of the ACM, 32(2):374-382, April 1985.
2000: Leslie Lamport for:
- Leslie Lamport “Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System”, Communications of the ACM, 21(7):558-565, July 1978.