I apologize if this has been already clarified in another post, I must admit I have found it difficult to keep up with the the discussions for this homework.
I understand that in the revised test, node E is also down, and A is required to send 5 messages in every phase 1 attempt. I also understand that between the start of the consensus process and when we count the number of messages that A has sent, there is around 1 second.
What I'm struggling to understand is how A is able to send 5 messages in each try. From the handout, I was under the impression that A gossips the PREPARE message, i.e. it sends it to one peer at a time. If the peer responds, A might send it to another or stop. If the peer doesn't, then A sends the message to another peer after 10 seconds. Because of the reliability of the gossip, peers that get the message from A eventually relay it to the rest of the network.
Assuming that all nodes are down, I would expect that A is going to attempt to contact one of its peers. Because the test is waiting 1 second, A is not going to contact anyone else before the paxosRetry timeout fires. Therefore, aSent should be 1 before the retry, and 2 after the retry (as it was before the change).
Am I getting something wrong?