We present an algorithm for distributed mutual exclusion in a computer network of N nodes that communicate by messages rather than shared memory. The algorithm uses a spanning tree of the computer network, and the number of messages exchanged per critical section depends on the topology of this tree. However, typically the number of messages exchanged is O (log N) under light demand, and reduces to approximately four messages under saturated demand.
Each node holds information only about its immediate neighbors in the spanning tree rather than information about all nodes, and failed nodes can recover necessary information from their neighbors. The algorithm does not require sequence numbers as it operates correctly despite message overtaking.