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What Cannot Be Computed Locally!
 In Proceedings of the 23 rd ACM Symposium on the Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC
, 2004
"... We give time lower bounds for the distributed approximation of minimum vertex cover (MVC) and related problems such as minimum dominating set (MDS). In k communication rounds, MVC and MDS can only be approximated by factors# /k) and # /k) for some constant c, where n and # denote the number ..."
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Cited by 139 (28 self)
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We give time lower bounds for the distributed approximation of minimum vertex cover (MVC) and related problems such as minimum dominating set (MDS). In k communication rounds, MVC and MDS can only be approximated by factors# /k) and # /k) for some constant c, where n and # denote the number of nodes and the largest degree in the graph. The number of rounds required in order to achieve a constant or even only a polylogarithmic approximation ratio is at log n/ log log n) and#1 #/ log log #). By a simple reduction, the latter lower bounds also hold for the construction of maximal matchings and maximal independent sets.
The price of being nearsighted
 In SODA ’06: Proceedings of the seventeenth annual ACMSIAM symposium on Discrete algorithm
, 2006
"... Achieving a global goal based on local information is challenging, especially in complex and largescale networks such as the Internet or even the human brain. In this paper, we provide an almost tight classification of the possible tradeoff between the amount of local information and the quality o ..."
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Cited by 83 (12 self)
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Achieving a global goal based on local information is challenging, especially in complex and largescale networks such as the Internet or even the human brain. In this paper, we provide an almost tight classification of the possible tradeoff between the amount of local information and the quality of the global solution for general covering and packing problems. Specifically, we give a distributed algorithm using only small messages which obtains an (ρ∆) 1/kapproximation for general covering and packing problems in time O(k 2), where ρ depends on the LP’s coefficients. If message size is unbounded, we present a second algorithm that achieves an O(n 1/k) approximation in O(k) rounds. Finally, we prove that these algorithms are close to optimal by giving a lower bound on the approximability of packing problems given that each node has to base its decision on information from its kneighborhood. 1
Distributed computing with advice: Information sensitivity of graph coloring
 IN 34TH INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM ON AUTOMATA, LANGUAGES AND PROGRAMMING (ICALP
, 2007
"... We study the problem of the amount of information (advice) about a graph that must be given to its nodes in order to achieve fast distributed computations. The required size of the advice enables to measure the information sensitivity of a network problem. A problem is information sensitive if litt ..."
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Cited by 31 (13 self)
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We study the problem of the amount of information (advice) about a graph that must be given to its nodes in order to achieve fast distributed computations. The required size of the advice enables to measure the information sensitivity of a network problem. A problem is information sensitive if little advice is enough to solve the problem rapidly (i.e., much faster than in the absence of any advice), whereas it is information insensitive if it requires giving a lot of information to the nodes in order to ensure fast computation of the solution. In this paper, we study the information sensitivity of distributed graph coloring.
Linear lower bounds on realworld implementations of concurrent objects
 In Proceedings of the 46th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS
, 2005
"... Abstract This paper proves \Omega (n) lower bounds on the time to perform a single instance of an operationin any implementation of a large class of data structures shared by n processes. For standarddata structures such as counters, stacks, and queues, the bound is tight. The implementations consid ..."
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Cited by 21 (11 self)
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Abstract This paper proves \Omega (n) lower bounds on the time to perform a single instance of an operationin any implementation of a large class of data structures shared by n processes. For standarddata structures such as counters, stacks, and queues, the bound is tight. The implementations considered may apply any deterministic primitives to a base object. No bounds are assumedon either the number of base objects or their size. Time is measured as the number of steps a process performs on base objects and the number of stalls it incurs as a result of contentionwith other processes. 1
Distributed Anonymous Discrete Function Computation
"... Abstract—We propose a model for deterministic distributed function computation by a network of identical and anonymous nodes. In this model, each node has bounded computation and storage capabilities that do not grow with the network size. Furthermore, each node only knows its neighbors, not the ent ..."
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Cited by 19 (2 self)
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Abstract—We propose a model for deterministic distributed function computation by a network of identical and anonymous nodes. In this model, each node has bounded computation and storage capabilities that do not grow with the network size. Furthermore, each node only knows its neighbors, not the entire graph. Our goal is to characterize the class of functions that can be computed within this model. In our main result, we provide a necessary condition for computability which we show to be nearly sufficient, in the sense that every function that violates this condition can at least be approximated. The problem of computing (suitably rounded) averages in a distributed manner plays a central role in our development; we provide an algorithm that solves it in time that grows quadratically with the size of the network. Index Terms—Averaging algorithms, distributed computing, distributed control. I.
Networks Cannot Compute Their Diameter in Sublinear Time preliminary version please check for updates
, 2011
"... We study the problem of computing the diameter of a network in a distributed way. The model of distributed computation we consider is: in each synchronous round, each node can transmit a different (but short) message to each of its neighbors. We provide an ˜ Ω(n) lower bound for the number of commun ..."
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Cited by 19 (2 self)
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We study the problem of computing the diameter of a network in a distributed way. The model of distributed computation we consider is: in each synchronous round, each node can transmit a different (but short) message to each of its neighbors. We provide an ˜ Ω(n) lower bound for the number of communication rounds needed, where n denotes the number of nodes in the network. This lower bound is valid even if the diameter of the network is a small constant. We also show that a (3/2 − ε)approximation of the diameter requires ˜ Ω ( √ n) rounds. Furthermore we use our new technique to prove an ˜ Ω ( √ n) lower bound on approximating the girth of a graph by a factor 2 − ε. Contact author:
Tight Bounds for Parallel Randomized Load Balancing
 Computing Research Repository
, 1992
"... We explore the fundamental limits of distributed ballsintobins algorithms, i.e., algorithms where balls act in parallel, as separate agents. This problem was introduced by Adler et al., who showed that nonadaptive and symmetric algorithms cannot reliably perform better than a maximum bin load of Θ ..."
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Cited by 18 (7 self)
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We explore the fundamental limits of distributed ballsintobins algorithms, i.e., algorithms where balls act in parallel, as separate agents. This problem was introduced by Adler et al., who showed that nonadaptive and symmetric algorithms cannot reliably perform better than a maximum bin load of Θ(loglogn/logloglogn) within the same number of rounds. We present an adaptive symmetric algorithm that achieves a bin load of two in log ∗ n + O(1) communication rounds using O(n) messages in total. Moreover, larger bin loads can be traded in for smaller time complexities. We prove a matching lower bound of (1−o(1))log ∗ n on the time complexity of symmetric algorithms that guarantee small bin loads at an asymptotically optimal message complexity of O(n). The essential preconditions of the proof are (i) a limit of O(n) on the total number of messages sent by the algorithm and (ii) anonymity of bins, i.e., the port numberings of balls are not globally consistent. In order to show that our technique yields indeed tight bounds, we provide for each assumption an algorithm violating it, in turn achieving a constant maximum bin load in constant time. As an application, we consider the following problem. Given a fully connected graph of n nodes, where each node needs to send and receive up to n messages, and in each round each node may send one message over each link, deliver all messages as quickly as possible to their destinations. We give a simple and robust algorithm of time complexity O(log ∗ n) for this task and provide a generalization to the case where all nodes initially hold arbitrary sets of messages. Completing the picture, we give a less practical, but asymptotically optimal algorithm terminating within O(1) rounds. All these bounds hold with high probability.
Local Computation: Lower and Upper Bounds
"... The question of what can be computed, and how efficiently, are at the core of computer science. Not surprisingly, in distributed systems and networking research, an equally fundamental question is what can be computed in a distributed fashion. More precisely, if nodes of a network must base their de ..."
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Cited by 16 (0 self)
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The question of what can be computed, and how efficiently, are at the core of computer science. Not surprisingly, in distributed systems and networking research, an equally fundamental question is what can be computed in a distributed fashion. More precisely, if nodes of a network must base their decision on information in their local neighborhood only, how well can they compute or approximate a global (optimization) problem? In this paper we give the first substantial lower bound on such local computation for (optimization) problems including minimum vertex cover, minimum (connected) dominating set, maximum matching, maximal independent set, and maximal matching. In addition we present a new distributed algorithm for solving general covering and packing linear programs. For some problems this algorithm is tight with the lower bounds, for others it is a distributed approximation scheme. Together, our lower and upper bounds establish the local computability and approximability of a large class of problems, characterizing how much local information is required to solve these tasks.
GRAPH SEARCHING WITH ADVICE
, 2007
"... Fraigniaud et al. (2006) introduced a new measure of difficulty for a distributed task in a network. The smallest number of bits of advice of a distributed problem is the smallest number of bits of information that has to be available to nodes in order to accomplish the task efficiently. Our paper ..."
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Cited by 13 (5 self)
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Fraigniaud et al. (2006) introduced a new measure of difficulty for a distributed task in a network. The smallest number of bits of advice of a distributed problem is the smallest number of bits of information that has to be available to nodes in order to accomplish the task efficiently. Our paper deals with the number of bits of advice required to perform efficiently the graph searching problem in a distributed setting. In this variant of the problem, all searchers are initially placed at a particular node of the network. The aim of the team of searchers is to capture an invisible and arbitrarily fast fugitive in a monotone connected way, i.e., the cleared part of the graph is permanently connected, and never decreases while the search strategy is executed. We show that the minimum number of bits of advice permitting the monotone connected clearing of a network in a distributed setting is O(n log n), where n is the number of nodes of the network, and this bound is tight. More precisely, we first provide a labelling of the vertices of any graph G, using a total of O(n log n) bits, and a protocol using this labelling that enables clearing G in a monotone connected distributed way. Then, we show that this number of bits of advice is almost optimal: no protocol using an oracle providing o(n log n) bits of advice permits the monotone connected clearing of a network using the smallest number of searchers.