Public Tech Talk: “A Semi-Topological View of Real-World Consensus”

  • Date Wednesday, October 07, 2020  Time 9:30 AM
  • Speaker Jamie Gabbay, Heriot-Watt University
  • Location Galois was pleased to host this tech talk via live-stream for the public. A video of the presentation can be found below.

The slides can be downloaded here.


In the real world, people join humanity, grow up trusting very different quorums from one another, and they may change their quorums with time.  In technical terms we could call this an open permissionless system with mutable local quorums.  

One might expect such a system to be a jumbled disorder — and yet, somehow, it self-organises into uniform areas of fairly stable consensus.  One might almost suspect there could be some deep mathematical principles involved!  

In this talk I will discuss consensus in a permissionless open system with mutable local quorums, and show how a topological view of the system gives a clean mathematical analysis with surprisingly good explanatory power.


Jamie Gabbay has been a researcher for twenty years in the logical foundations of mathematics and programming.  He specialises in finding simplicity and precision by building models that nobody expected, based on connections that nobody thought would work.  

Jamie Gabbay
Heriot-Watt University

This talk was live-streamed and a recording is available by clicking the YouTube image at the top of this page.