Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing





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 ofdistributed 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 (even years) and EATCS DISC (odd years). 


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 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 addition 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 short paragraph (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 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 can nominate papers as well.  However, they must carefully consider nominations from within the community. Members of the Award Committee should 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).


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


2006: John M. Mellor-Crummey and Michael L. Scott for "Algorithms for scalable synchronization on shared-memory multiprocessors," ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 9(1), 1991. [more]


2005:  Marshal Pease, Robert Shostak, and Leslie Lamport for "Reaching agreement in the presence of faults", Journal of the Association of Computing Machinery, April, 1980, 27(1):228-234. [more


2004:  R. G. Gallager, P. A. Humblet, and P. M. Spira for "A Distributed Algorithm for Minimum-Weight Spanning Trees", ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, January 1983, 5(1):66-77. [more


2003:  Maurice Herlihy for "Wait-Free Synchronization", ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, January 1991, 13(1):124-149. [more]


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


2002:  Edsger W. Dijkstra for "Self-stabilizing systems in spite of distributed control," Communications of the ACM, 1974, 17(11):643-644. [more]


2001:  Michael J. Fischer, Nancy A. Lynch, and Michael S. Paterson for "Impossibility of  Distributed Consensus with One Faulty Process," Journal of the ACM, April 1985, 32(2):374-382. [more]


2000:  Leslie Lamport for "Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System," Communications of the ACM, July 1978, 21(7):558-565. [more]