[erlang-questions] Re: Internal mechanism of monitor

Attila Rajmund Nohl <>
Tue Mar 29 11:08:49 CEST 2011

2011/3/29, Thomas Anderson <>:
> I read some articles talking about erlang and am caught attention by
> erlang's intrinsically fault tolerance features.
> In the paper `Making reliable distributed system in the presence of
> software error,' it explains error handling with e.g links and
> monitor. But it only refers to function such as link(), spwan_link(),
> monitor(), etc., and some basic illustration about these two
> functions. After searching on erlang.org as well as the internet I do
> not find document or threads discussing its internal mechanism. For
> instance, is it failure detector?

The documentation says that

"erlang:monitor(Type, Item) -> MonitorRef
The calling process starts monitoring Item which is an object of type
Type. Currently only processes can be monitored, i.e. the only allowed
Type is process
A  'DOWN' message will be sent to the monitoring process if Item dies,
if Item does not exist, or if the connection is lost to the node which
Item resides on."

So it's a failure detector.

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