Foundations of Knowledge for Distributed Systems

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Michael J. Fisher, Neil Immerman
Yale University
December 1985

We give a simple, yet very general definition for distributed protocols. We then define notions of knowledge and common knowledge appropriate for these protocols. We study how changes in the states of knowledge relate to more standard notions of computation. We find that by restricting our formulas to certain sets of global states we can realize different, appropriate definitions of knowledge with fundamentally different properties.