Dijkstra Prize

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 one of the most important supports 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 and EATCS DISC.

The winners of the award 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 or EATCS DISC proceedings of that year, describing the paper's lasting contributions.

Award Committee:

The winner of the Prize is selected by a committee of six members.

Award Committee 2023:

  • Yehuda Afek, Tel-Aviv University
  • Magnus M. Halldorsson, Reykjavik University (chair)
  • Idit Keidar, Technion
  • Rotem Oshman, Tel-Aviv University
  • Ulrich Schmid, TU Wien
  • Gadi Taubenfeld, Reichman University

Call for nominations 2023 - Deadline: March 15th, 2023

Nominations and Eligibility

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 400 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 award is given.

Papers authored or co-authored by members of the Award Committee will not be eligible for consideration. Members of the Award Committee will be especially sensitive to conflict-of-interests issues if papers by former students or close colleagues are nominated.

Selection Process

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 award. 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.

Past Prizes

Prizes in the years 2000-2002 were given under the name "PODC Influential-Paper Award".

2022 / Maged M. Michael, Maurice Herlihy, Victor Luchangco, and Mark Moir

Paper: Maged M. Michael "Safe Memory Reclamation for Dynamic Lock-Free Objects Using Atomic Reads and Writes," Proceedings of the 22nd ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC), Monterey, CA, USA, July 2002, pages 21–30 }.

Paper: Maurice Herlihy, Victor Luchangco, and Mark Moir "The Repeat Offender Problem: A Mechanism for Supporting Dynamic-Sized, Lock-Free Data Structures,'' Proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC), Toulouse, France, October 2002, pages 339–353.

Committee: Christian Scheideler, Paderborn University (chair), Marcos Aguilera, VMware Research, Alessandro Panconesi, Università La Sapienza, Rome, Andrea Richa, Arizona State University, Alexander Schwarzmann, Augusta University, Philipp Woelfel, University of Calgary

2021 / Paris C. Kanellakis and Scott A. Smolka

Paper: "CCS Expressions, Finite State Processes, and Three Problems of Equivalence, Proceedings of the Second Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC) 1983, pp. 228-240.

Committee: Keren Censor-Hillel, Technion (chair), Pierre Fraigniaud, Université de Paris and CNRS Cyril Gavoille, LaBRI — Université de Bordeaux, Seth Gilbert, National University of Singapore, Andrzej Pelc, Université du Québec en Outaouais, David Peleg, Weizmann

2020 / Dana Angluin, James Aspnes, Zoe Diamadi, Michael J. Fischer, and Rene Peralta

Paper: "Computation in networks of passively mobile finite-state sensors", Distributed Computing 18(4): 235-253 (2006).

Committee: Hagit Attiya, Technion (chair) Christian Cachin, University of Bern Rachid Guerraoui, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Nancy Lynch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Yoram Moses, Technion Paul Spirakis, University of Liverpool and University of Patras Alex Schwarzmann, Augusta University

2019 / Alessandro Panconesi and Aravind Srinivasan

Paper: "Randomized Distributed Edge Coloring via an Extension of the Chernoff–Hoeffding Bounds", SIAM Journal on Computing, volume 26, number 2, 1997, pages 350–368.

Committee: Lorenzo Alvisi, Cornell University Shlomi Dolev, Ben Gurion University Faith Ellen (chair), University of Toronto Idit Keidar, Technion Fabian Kuhn, University of Freiburg Jukka Suomela, Aalto University

2018 / Bowen Alpern and Fred B. Schneider

Paper: "Defining liveness”, by Bowen Alpern, in Information Processing Letters 21(4), October 1985, pages 181-185.

Committee: Yehuda Afek, Tel-Aviv University Idit Keidar, Technion Boaz Patt-Shamir, Tel-Aviv University Sergio Rajsbaum, UNAM Ulrich Schmid (chair), TU Wien Gadi Taubenfeld, IDC Herzliya

2017 / Elizabeth Borowsky, Eli Gafni

Paper: "Generalized FLP impossibility result for t-resilient asynchronous computations", by Elizabeth Borowsky and Eli Gafni, STOC 1993: 91-100.

Committee: Marcos K. Aguilera, Alessandro Panconesi, Andrzej Pelc, Andrea Richa, Alex Schwarzmann (Chair), Roger Wattenhofer

2016 / Noga Alon, László Babai, Alon Itai, Michael Luby

Paper: "A Fast and Simple Randomized Parallel Algorithm for the Maximal Independent Set Problem", by Noga Alon, László Babai, and Alon Itai in Journal of Algorithms, 7(4):567-583, 1986.
Paper: "Simple Parallel Algorithm for the Maximal Independent Set Problem", by Michael Luby in the Proceedings of the 17th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), pp. 1-10, May 1985, and in SIAM Journal on Computing, 15(4):1036-1053, 1986.

Committee: Shlomi Dolev, Pierre Fraigniaud, Cyril Gavoille, Dahlia Malkhi, Andrzej Pelc, David Peleg

2015 / Michael Ben-Or, Michael O. Rabin

Paper: "Another Advantage of Free Choice: Completely Asynchronous Agreement Protocols", by Michael Ben-Or, published in Proceedings of the Second ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, pages 27-30, August 1983
Paper: "Randomized Byzantine Generals", by Michael O. Rabin, published in Proceedings of Twenty-Fourth IEEE Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, pages 403-409, November 1983

Committee: James Aspnes, Pierre Fraigniaud, Rachid Guerraoui, Nancy Lynch, Yoram Moses, Paul Spirakis (Chair)

2014 / Kanianthra Mani Chandy, Leslie Lamport

Paper: 'Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of Distributed SystemsACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 3(1):63–75, 1985.

Committee: Lorenzo Alvisi, Shlomi Dolev, Rachid Guerraoui, Idit Keidar, Fabian Kuhn (Chair), Shay Kutten

2013 / Nati Linial

Paper: ''Locality in Distributed Graph Algorithms". SIAM Journal on Computing, 21(1):193-201, 1992

Committee: Yehuda Afek, Faith Ellen, Boaz Patt-Shamir, Sergio Rajsbaum, Alexander Shvartsman, Gadi Taubenfeld (Chair)

2012 / Maurice Herlihy, J. Eliot B. Moss, Nir Shavit, Dan Touitou

Paper: ''Transactional Memory: Architectural Support for Lock-Free Data Structures". 20th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, pages 289-300, May 1993. and 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.)

Committee: Marcos K. Aguilera (Chair), Dahlia Malkhi, Keith Marzullo, Alessandro Panconesi, Andrzej Pelc, and Roger Wattenhofer

2011 / Hagit Attiya, Amotz Bar-Noy, Danny Dolev

Paper: ''Sharing Memory Robustly in Message-Passing Systems'', Journal of the ACM,(JACM) 42(1):124-142 (1995)

Committee: Shlomi Dolev, Pierre Fraigniaud (Chair), Dahlia Malkhi, David Peleg, Nir Shavit, Jennifer Welch

2010 / Tushar D. Chandra, Vassos Hadzilacos, Sam Toueg

Papers: ''Unreliable Failure Detectors for Reliable Distributed Systems'', Journal of the ACM, 43(2):225-267, 1996 and ''The Weakest Failure Detector for Solving Consensus'', Journal of the ACM, 43(4):685-722, 1996

Committee: Nancy Lynch(Co-Chair), Alexander Shvartsman(Co-Chair), James Anderson, James Aspens, Pierre Fraigniaud, Rachid Guerraoui, Maurice Herlihy

2009 / Joseph Halpern, Yoram Moses

Paper: "Knowledge and Common Knowledge in a Distributed Environment", published in Proceedings of the Third Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC'84) pp. 50-61, 1984 (pdf), and in Journal of the ACM (JACM), 37(3):549-587, 1990 (pdf)

Committee: Lorenzo Alvisi (Chair), Rachid Guerraoui, Prasad Jayanti, Idit Keidar, Shay Kutten, Jennifer Welch

2008 / Baruch Awerbuch, David Peleg

Paper: "Sparse Partitions" published in FOCS 1990.

Committee: Yehuda Afek, Faith Ellen, Shay Kutten, Boaz Patt-Shamir, Sergio Rajsbaum, Gadi Taubenfeld (Chair)

2007/ Cynthia Dwork, Nancy Lynch, Larry Stockmeyer

Paper: "Consensus in the presence of partial synchrony", Journal of the ACM, Vol. 35, No. 2, April, 1988. pages 288--323 (a preliminary version appeared in PODC 1984).

Committee: Hagit Attiya, Dahlia Malkhi, Keith Marzullo, Marios Mavronicolas, Andrzej Pelc, Roger Wattenhofer (Chair)

2006 / John M. Mellor-Crummey, Michael L. Scott

Paper: "Algorithms for scalable synchronization on shared-memory multiprocessors", ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 9(1), 1991

Committee: Dahlia Malkhi (Chair), Yoram Moses, Michel Raynal, Nir Shavit

2005 / Marshal Pease, Robert Shostak, Leslie Lamport

Paper: "Reaching agreement in the presence of faults", Journal of the Association of Computing Machinery, April, 1980, 27(1):228-234

2004 / R. G. Gallager, P. A. Humblet, P. M. Spira

Paper: "A Distributed Algorithm for Minimum-Weight Spanning Trees", ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, January 1983, 5(1):66-77

Committee: Shay Kutten (Chair), David Peleg, George Varghese, and Jennifer Welch

2003 / Maurice Herlihy

Paper: "Wait-Free Synchronization", ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, January 1991, 13(1):124-149

Committee: Yehuda Afek, Michael Merritt, Sergio Rajsbaum (chair), and Sam Toueg

2002 / Edsger W. Dijkstra

Paper: "Self-stabilizing systems in spite of distributed control", Communications of the ACM, 1974, 17(11):643-644

2001 / Michael J. Fischer, Nancy A. Lynch, Michael S. Paterson

Paper: "Impossibility of Distributed Consensus with One Faulty Process", Journal of the ACM, April 1985, 32(2):374-382

2000 / Leslie Lamport

Paper: "Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System", Communications of the ACM, July 1978, 21(7):558-565

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