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Über dieses Buch

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 23rd International Colloquium on Structural Information and Communication Complexity, SIROCCO 2016, held in Helsinki, Finland in July 2016.

The 25 full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 50 submissions. The papers are organized around the following topics: message passing; shared memory; mobile agent; data dissemination and routing.



Message Passing


How Many Cooks Spoil the Soup?

In this work, we study the following basic question: “How much parallelism does a distributed task permit?” Our definition of parallelism (or symmetry) here is not in terms of speed, but in terms of identical roles that processes have at the same time in the execution. We initiate this study in population protocols, a very simple model that not only allows for a straightforward definition of what a role is, but also encloses the challenge of isolating the properties that are due to the protocol from those that are due to the adversary scheduler, who controls the interactions between the processes. We (i) give a partial characterization of the set of predicates on input assignments that can be stably computed with maximum symmetry, i.e., \(\varTheta (N_{min})\), where \(N_{min}\) is the minimum multiplicity of a state in the initial configuration, and (ii) we turn our attention to the remaining predicates and prove a strong impossibility result for the parity predicate: the inherent symmetry of any protocol that stably computes it is upper bounded by a constant that depends on the size of the protocol.
Othon Michail, Paul G. Spirakis

Dynamic Networks of Finite State Machines

Like distributed systems, biological multicellular processes are subject to dynamic changes and a biological system will not pass the survival-of-the-fittest test unless it exhibits certain features that enable fast recovery from these changes. In most cases, the types of dynamic changes a biological process may experience and its desired recovery features differ from those traditionally studied in the distributed computing literature. In particular, a question seldomly asked in the context of distributed digital systems and that is crucial in the context of biological cellular networks, is whether the system can keep the changing components confined so that only nodes in their vicinity may be affected by the changes, but nodes sufficiently far away from any changing component remain unaffected.
Based on this notion of confinement, we propose a new metric for measuring the dynamic changes recovery performance in distributed network algorithms operating under the Stone Age model (Emek and Wattenhofer, PODC 2013), where the class of dynamic topology changes we consider includes inserting/deleting an edge, deleting a node together with its incident edges, and inserting a new isolated node. Our main technical contribution is a distributed algorithm for maximal independent set (MIS) in synchronous networks subject to these topology changes that performs well in terms of the aforementioned new metric. Specifically, our algorithm guarantees that nodes which do not experience a topology change in their immediate vicinity are not affected and that all surviving nodes (including the affected ones) perform \(\mathcal {O}((C + 1) \log ^{2} n)\) computationally-meaningful steps, where C is the number of topology changes; in other words, each surviving node performs \(\mathcal {O}(\log ^{2} n)\) steps when amortized over the number of topology changes. This is accompanied by a simple example demonstrating that the linear dependency on C cannot be avoided.
Yuval Emek, Jara Uitto

Setting Ports in an Anonymous Network: How to Reduce the Level of Symmetry?

A fundamental question in the setting of anonymous graphs concerns the ability of nodes to spontaneously break symmetries, based on their local perception of the network. In contrast to previous work, which focuses on symmetry breaking under arbitrary port labelings, in this paper, we study the following design question: Given an anonymous graph G without port labels, how to assign labels to the ports of G, in interval form at each vertex, so that symmetry breaking can be achieved using a message-passing protocol requiring as few rounds of synchronous communication as possible?
More formally, for an integer \(l>0\), the truncated view \(\mathcal {V}_l(v)\) of a node v of a port-labeled graph is defined as a tree encoding labels encountered along all walks in the network which originate from node v and have length at most l, and we ask about an assignment of labels to the ports of G so that the views \({\mathcal {V}_{l}}(v)\) are distinct for all nodes \(v\in V\), with the goal being to minimize l.
We present such efficient port labelings for any graph G, and we exhibit examples of graphs showing that the derived bounds are asymptotically optimal in general. More precisely, our results imply the following statements.
For any graph G with n nodes and diameter D, a uniformly random port labeling achieves \(l = O(\min (D,\log n))\), w.h.p.
For any graph G with n nodes and diameter D, it is possible to construct in polynomial time a labeling that satisfies \(l = O(\min (D,\log n))\).
For any integers \(n\ge 2\) and \(D \le \log _2 n-\log _2\log _2 n\), there exists a graph G with n nodes and diameter D which satisfies \(l \ge \frac{1}{2} D - \frac{5}{2}\).
Ralf Klasing, Adrian Kosowski, Dominik Pajak

Fooling Pairs in Randomized Communication Complexity

The fooling pairs method is one of the standard methods for proving lower bounds for deterministic two-player communication complexity. We study fooling pairs in the context of randomized communication complexity. We show that every fooling pair induces far away distributions on transcripts of private-coin protocols. We use the above to conclude that the private-coin randomized \(\varepsilon \)-error communication complexity of a function f with a fooling set \(\mathcal S\) is at least order \(\log \frac{\log |\mathcal S|}{\varepsilon }\). This relationship was earlier known to hold only for constant values of \(\varepsilon \). The bound we prove is tight, for example, for the equality and greater-than functions.
As an application, we exhibit the following dichotomy: for every boolean function f and integer n, the (1/3)-error public-coin randomized communication complexity of the function \(\bigvee _{i=1}^{n}f(x_i,y_i)\) is either at most c or at least n/c, where \(c>0\) is a universal constant.
Shay Moran, Makrand Sinha, Amir Yehudayoff

Public vs. Private Randomness in Simultaneous Multi-party Communication Complexity

In simultaneous number-in-hand multi-party communication protocols, we have k players, who each receive a private input, and wish to compute a joint function of their inputs. The players simultaneously each send a single message to a referee, who then outputs the value of the function. The cost of the protocol is the total number of bits sent to the referee.
For two players, it is known that giving the players a public (shared) random string is much more useful than private randomness: public-coin protocols can be unboundedly better than deterministic protocols, while private-coin protocols can only give a quadratic improvement on deterministic protocols.
We extend the two-player gap to multiple players, and show that the private-coin communication complexity of a k-player function f is at least \(\varOmega (\sqrt{D(f)})\) for any \(k \ge 2\). Perhaps surprisingly, this bound is tight: although one might expect the gap between private-coin and deterministic protocols to grow with the number of players, we show that the All-Equality function, where each player receives n bits of input and the players must determine if their inputs are all the same, can be solved by a private-coin protocol with \(\tilde{O}(\sqrt{nk}+k)\) bits. Since All-Equality has deterministic complexity \(\varTheta (nk)\), this shows that sometimes the gap scales only as the square root of the number of players, and consequently the number of bits each player needs to send actually decreases as the number of players increases. We also consider the Exists-Equality function, where we ask whether there is a pair of players that received the same input, and prove a nearly-tight bound of \(\tilde{\varTheta }(k \sqrt{n})\) for it.
Orr Fischer, Rotem Oshman, Uri Zwick

Message Lower Bounds via Efficient Network Synchronization

We present a uniform approach to derive message-time tradeoffs and message lower bounds for synchronous distributed computations using results from communication complexity theory.
Since the models used in the classical theory of communication complexity are inherently asynchronous, lower bounds do not directly apply in a synchronous setting. To address this issue, we show a general result called Synchronous Simulation Theorem (SST) which allows to obtain message lower bounds for synchronous distributed computations by leveraging lower bounds on communication complexity. The SST is a by-product of a new efficient synchronizer for complete networks, called \(\sigma \), which has simulation overheads that are only logarithmic in the number of synchronous rounds with respect to both time and message complexity in the CONGEST model. The \(\sigma \) synchronizer is particularly efficient in simulating synchronous algorithms that employ silence. In particular, a curious property of this synchronizer, which sets it apart from its predecessors, is that it is time-compressing, and hence in some cases it may result in a simulation that is faster than the original execution.
While the SST gives near-optimal message lower bounds up to large values of the number of allowed synchronous rounds r (usually polynomial in the size of the network), it fails to provide meaningful bounds when a very large number of rounds is allowed. To complement the bounds provided by the SST, we then derive message lower bounds for the synchronous message-passing model that are unconditional, that is, independent of r, via direct reductions from multi-party communication complexity.
We apply our approach to show (almost) tight message-time tradeoffs and message lower bounds for several fundamental problems in the synchronous message-passing model of distributed computation. These include sorting, matrix multiplication, and many graph problems. All these lower bounds hold for any distributed algorithms, including randomized Monte Carlo algorithms.
Gopal Pandurangan, David Peleg, Michele Scquizzato

Recent Results on Fault-Tolerant Consensus in Message-Passing Networks

Fault-tolerant consensus has been studied extensively in the literature, because it is one of the important distributed primitives and has wide applications in practice. This paper surveys important works on fault-tolerant consensus in message-passing networks, and the focus is on results from the past decade. Particularly, we categorize the results into two groups: new problem formulations and practical applications. In the first part, we discuss new ways to define the consensus problem, which include larger input domains, enriched correctness properties, different network models, etc. In the second part, we focus on real-world systems that use Paxos or Raft to reach consensus, and Byzantine Fault-Tolerant (BFT) systems. We also discuss Bitcoin, which can be related to solving Byzantine consensus in anonymous systems, and compare Bitcoin with BFT systems and Byzantine consensus algorithms.
Lewis Tseng

Shared Memory


Asynchronous Coordination Under Preferences and Constraints

Adaptive renaming can be viewed as a coordination task involving a set of asynchronous agents, each aiming at grabbing a single resource out of a set of resources Similarly, musical chairs is also defined as a coordination task involving a set of asynchronous agents, each aiming at picking one of a set of available resources, where every agent comes with an a priori preference for some resource. We foresee instances in which some combinations of resources are allowed, while others are disallowed.
We model these constraints as an undirected graph whose nodes represent the resources, and an edge between two resources indicates that these two resources cannot be used simultaneously. In other words, the sets of resources that are allowed are those which form independent sets.
We assume that each agent comes with an a priori preference for some resource. If an agent’s preference is not in conflict with the preferences of the other agents, then this preference can be grabbed by the agent. Otherwise, the agents must coordinate to resolve their conflicts, and potentially choose non preferred resources. We investigate the following problem: given a graph, what is the maximum number of agents that can be accommodated subject to non-altruistic behaviors of early arriving agents?
Just for cyclic constraints, the problem is surprisingly difficult. Indeed, we show that, intriguingly, the natural algorithm inspired from optimal solutions to adaptive renaming or musical chairs is sub-optimal for cycles, but proven to be at most 1 to the optimal. The main message of this paper is that finding optimal solutions to the coordination with constraints and preferences task requires to design “dynamic” algorithms, that is, algorithms of a completely different nature than the “static” algorithms used for, e.g., renaming.
Armando Castañeda, Pierre Fraigniaud, Eli Gafni, Sergio Rajsbaum, Matthieu Roy

Concurrent Use of Write-Once Memory

We consider the problem of implementing general shared-memory objects on top of write-once bits, which can be changed from 0 to 1 but not back again. In a sequential setting, write-once memory (WOM) codes have been developed that allow simulating memory that support multiple writes, even of large values, setting an average of \(1+o(1)\) write-once bits per write. We show that similar space efficiencies can be obtained in a concurrent setting, though at the cost of high time complexity and fixed bound on the number of write operations. As an alternative, we give an implementation that permits unboundedly many writes and has much better amortized time complexity, but at the cost of unbounded space complexity. Whether one can obtain both low time complexity and low space complexity in the same implementation remains open.
James Aspnes, Keren Censor-Hillel, Eitan Yaakobi

In the Search for Optimal Concurrency

It is common practice to use the epithet “highly concurrent” referring to data structures that are supposed to perform well in concurrent environments. But how do we measure the concurrency of a data structure in the first place? In this paper, we propose a way to do this, which allowed us to formalize the notion of a concurrency-optimal implementation.
The concurrency of a program is defined here as the program’s ability to accept concurrent schedules, i.e., interleavings of steps of its sequential implementation. To make the definition sound, we introduce a novel correctness criterion, LS-linearizability, that, in addition to classical linearizability, requires the interleavings of memory accesses to be locally indistinguishable from sequential executions. An implementation is then concurrency-optimal if it accepts all LS-linearizable schedules. We explore the concurrency properties of search data structures which can be represented in the form of directed acyclic graphs exporting insert, delete and search operations. We prove, for the first time, that pessimistic (e.g., based on conservative locking) and optimistic serializable (e.g., based on serializable transactional memory) implementations of search data-structures are incomparable in terms of concurrency. Thus, neither of these two implementation classes is concurrency-optimal, hence raising the question of the existence of concurrency-optimal programs.
Vincent Gramoli, Petr Kuznetsov, Srivatsan Ravi

The F-Snapshot Problem

Aguilera, Gafni and Lamport introduced the signaling problem in [3]. In this problem, two processes numbered 0 and 1 can call two procedures: update and Fscan. A parameter of the problem is a two-variable function \(F(x_0,x_1)\). Each process \(p_i\) can assign values to variable \(x_i\) by calling update( v ) with some data value v, and compute the value: \(F(x_0,x_1)\) by executing an Fscan procedure. The problem is interesting when the domain of F is infinite and the range of F is finite. In this case, some “access restrictions” are imposed that limit the size of the registers that the Fscan procedure can access.
Aguilera et al. provided a non-blocking solution and asked whether a wait-free solution exists. A positive answer can be found in [5]. The natural generalization of the two-process signaling problem to an arbitrary number of processes turns out to yield an interesting generalization of the fundamental snapshot problem, which we call the F-snapshot problem. In this problem n processes can write values to an n-segment array (each process to its own segment), and can read and obtain the value of an n-variable function F on the array of segments. In case that the range of F is finite, it is required that only bounded registers are accessed when the processes apply the function F to the array, although the data values written to the segments may be taken from an infinite set. We provide here an affirmative answer to the question of Aguilera et al. for an arbitrary number of processes. Our solution employs only single-writer atomic registers, and its time complexity is \(O(n\log n)\).
Gal Amram

t-Resilient Immediate Snapshot Is Impossible

An immediate snapshot object is a high level communication object, built on top of a read/write distributed system in which all except one processes may crash. It allows each process to write a value and obtains a set of pairs (process id, value) such that, despite process crashes and asynchrony, the sets obtained by the processes satisfy noteworthy inclusion properties.
Considering an n-process model in which up to t processes are allowed to crash (t-crash system model), this paper is on the construction of t-resilient immediate snapshot objects. In the t-crash system model, a process can obtain values from at least \((n-t)\) processes, and, consequently, t-immediate snapshot is assumed to have the properties of the basic \((n-1)\)-resilient immediate snapshot plus the additional property stating that each process obtains values from at least \((n-t)\) processes. The main result of the paper is the following. While there is a (deterministic) \((n-1)\)-resilient algorithm implementing the basic \((n-1)\)-immediate snapshot in an \((n-1)\)-crash read/write system, there is no t-resilient algorithm in a t-crash read/write model when \(t\in [1\ldots (n-2)]\). This means that, when \(t<n-1\), the notion of t-resilience is inoperative when one has to implement t-immediate snapshot for these values of t: the model assumption “at most \(t<n-1\) processes may crash” does not provide us with additional computational power allowing for the design of a genuine t-resilient algorithm (genuine meaning that such an algorithm would work in the t-crash model, but not in the \((t+1)\)-crash model). To show these results, the paper relies on well-known distributed computing agreement problems such as consensus and k-set agreement.
Carole Delporte, Hugues Fauconnier, Sergio Rajsbaum, Michel Raynal

Mobile Agents


Linear Search by a Pair of Distinct-Speed Robots

Two mobile robots are initially placed at the same point on an infinite line. Each robot may move on the line in either direction not exceeding its maximal speed. The robots need to find a stationary target placed at an unknown location on the line. The search is completed when both robots arrive at the target point. The target is discovered at the moment when either robot arrives at its position. The robot knowing the placement of the target may communicate it to the other robot. We look for the algorithm with the shortest possible search time (i.e. the worst-case time at which both robots meet at the target) measured as a function of the target distance from the origin (i.e. the time required to travel directly from the starting point to the target at unit velocity).
We consider two standard models of communication between the robots, namely wireless communication and communication by meeting. In the case of communication by meeting, a robot learns about the target while sharing the same location with the robot possessing this knowledge. We propose here an optimal search strategy for two robots including the respective lower bound argument, for the full spectrum of their maximal speeds. This extends the main result of Chrobak et al. (SOFSEM 2015) referring to the exact complexity of the problem for the case when the speed of the slower robot is at least one third of the faster one. In addition, we consider also the wireless communication model, in which a message sent by one robot is instantly received by the other robot, regardless of their current positions on the line. In this model, we design an optimal strategy whenever the faster robot is at most 6 times faster than the slower one.
Evangelos Bampas, Jurek Czyzowicz, Leszek Gąsieniec, David Ilcinkas, Ralf Klasing, Tomasz Kociumaka, Dominik Pająk

Deterministic Meeting of Sniffing Agents in the Plane

Two mobile agents, starting at arbitrary, possibly different times from arbitrary locations in the plane, have to meet. Agents are modeled as discs of diameter 1, and meeting occurs when these discs touch. Agents have different labels which are integers from the set \(\{0,\dots ,L-1\}\). Each agent knows L and knows its own label, but not the label of the other agent. Agents are equipped with compasses and have synchronized clocks. They make a series of moves. Each move specifies the direction and the duration of moving. This includes a null move which consists in staying inert for some time, or forever. In a non-null move agents travel at the same constant speed, normalized to 1.
Agents have sensors enabling them to estimate the distance from the other agent, but not the direction towards it. We consider two models of estimation. In both models an agent reads its sensor at the moment of its appearance in the plane and then at the end of each move. This reading (together with the previous ones) determines the decision concerning the next move. In both models the reading of the sensor tells the agent if the other agent is already present. Moreover, in the monotone model, each agent can find out, for any two readings in moments \(t_1\) and \(t_2\), whether the distance from the other agent at time \(t_1\)was smaller, equal or larger than at time \(t_2\). In the weaker binary model, each agent can find out, at any reading, whether it is at distance less than \(\rho \) or at distance at least \(\rho \) from the other agent, for some real \(\rho >1\) unknown to them. Such distance estimation mechanism can be implemented, e.g., using chemical sensors. Each agent emits some chemical substance (scent), and the sensor of the other agent detects it, i.e., sniffs. The intensity of the scent decreases with the distance. In the monotone model it is assumed that the sensor is ideally accurate and can measure any change of intensity. In the binary model it is only assumed that the sensor can detect the scent below some distance (without being able to measure intensity) above which the scent is too weak to be detected.
We show the impact of the two ways of sensing on the time of meeting, measured from the start of the later agent. For the monotone model we show an algorithm achieving meeting in time O(D), where D is the initial distance between the agents. This complexity is optimal. For the binary model we show that, if agents start at distance smaller than \(\rho \) (i.e., when they sense each other initially) then meeting can be guaranteed within time \(O(\rho \log L)\), and that this time cannot be improved in general. Finally we observe that, if agents start at distance \(\alpha \rho \), for some constant \(\alpha >1\) in the binary model, then sniffing does not help, i.e., the worst-case optimal meeting time is of the same order of magnitude as without any sniffing ability.
Samir Elouasbi, Andrzej Pelc

Distributed Evacuation in Graphs with Multiple Exits

We consider the problem of efficient evacuation using multiple exits. We formulate this problem as a discrete problem on graphs where mobile agents located in distinct nodes of a given graph must quickly reach one of multiple possible exit nodes, while avoiding congestion and bottlenecks. Each node of the graph has the capacity of holding at most one agent at each time step. Thus, the agents must choose their movements strategy based on locations of other agents in the graph, in order to minimize the total time needed for evacuation. We consider two scenarios: (i) the centralized (or offline) setting where the agents have full knowledge of initial positions of other agents, and (ii) the distributed (or online) setting where the agents do not have prior knowledge of the location of other agents but they can communicate locally with nearby agents and they must modify their strategy in an online fashion while they move and obtain more information. In the former case we present an offline polynomial time solution to compute the optimal strategy for evacuation of all agents. In the online case, we present a constant competitive algorithm when agents can communicate at distance two in the graph. We also show that when the agents are heterogeneous and each agent has access to only a subgraph of the original graph then computing the optimal strategy is NP-hard even with full global knowledge. This result holds even if there are only two types of agents.
Piotr Borowiecki, Shantanu Das, Dariusz Dereniowski, Łukasz Kuszner

Universal Systems of Oblivious Mobile Robots

An oblivious mobile robot is a stateless computational entity located in a spatial universe, capable of moving in that universe. When activated, the robot observes the universe and the location of the other robots, chooses a destination, and moves there. The computation of the destination is made by executing an algorithm, the same for all robots, whose sole input is the current observation. No memory of all these actions is retained after the move. When the spatial universe is a graph, distributed computations by oblivious mobile robots have been intensively studied focusing on the conditions for feasibility of basic problems (e.g., gathering, exploration) in specific classes of graphs under different schedulers. In this paper, we embark on a different, more general, type of investigation.
With their movements from vertices to neighboring vertices, the robots make the system transition from one configuration to another. Thus the execution of an algorithm from a given configuration defines in a natural way the computation of a discrete function by the system. Our research interest is to understand which functions are computed by which systems. In this paper we focus on identifying sets of systems that are universal, in the sense that they can collectively compute all finite functions. We are able to identify several such classes of fully synchronous systems. In particular, among other results, we prove the universality of the set of all graphs with at least one robot, of any set of graphs with at least two robots whose quotient graphs contain arbitrarily long paths, and of any set of graphs with at least three robots and arbitrarily large finite girths. We then focus on the minimum size that a network must have for the robots to be able to compute all functions on a given finite set. We are able to approximate the minimum size of such a network up to a factor that tends to 2 as n goes to infinity.
The main technique we use in our investigation is the simulation between algorithms, which in turn defines domination between systems. If a system dominates another system, then it can compute at least as many functions. The other ingredient is constituted by path and ring networks, of which we give a thorough analysis. Indeed, in terms of implicit function computations, they are revealed to be fundamental topologies with important properties. Understanding these properties enables us to extend our results to larger classes of graphs, via simulation.
Paola Flocchini, Nicola Santoro, Giovanni Viglietta, Masafumi Yamashita

Collaborative Delivery with Energy-Constrained Mobile Robots

We consider the problem of collectively delivering some message from a specified source to a designated target location in a graph, using multiple mobile agents. Each agent has a limited energy which constrains the distance it can move. Hence multiple agents need to collaborate to move the message, each agent handing over the message to the next agent to carry it forward. Given the positions of the agents in the graph and their respective budgets, the problem of finding a feasible movement schedule for the agents can be challenging. We consider two variants of the problem: in non-returning delivery, the agents can stop anywhere; whereas in returning delivery, each agent needs to return to its starting location, a variant which has not been studied before. We first provide a polynomial-time algorithm for returning delivery on trees, which is in contrast to the known (weak) \(\mathrm {NP}\)-hardness of the non-returning version. In addition, we give resource-augmented algorithms for returning delivery in general graphs. Finally, we give tight lower bounds on the required resource augmentation for both variants of the problem. In this sense, our results close the gap left by previous research.
Andreas Bärtschi, Jérémie Chalopin, Shantanu Das, Yann Disser, Barbara Geissmann, Daniel Graf, Arnaud Labourel, Matúš Mihalák

Communication Problems for Mobile Agents Exchanging Energy

A set of mobile agents is deployed in the nodes of an edge-weighted network. Agents originally possess amounts of energy, possibly different for all agents. The agents travel in the network spending energy proportional to the distance traversed. Some nodes of the network may keep information which is acquired by the agents visiting them. The meeting agents may exchange currently possessed information, as well as any amount of energy. We consider communication problems when the information initially held by some network nodes have to be communicated to some other nodes and/or agents. The paper deals with two communication problems: data delivery and convergecast. These problems are posed for a centralized scheduler which has full knowledge of the instance. It is already known that, without energy exchange, both problems are NP-complete even if the network is a line. In this paper we show that, if the agents are allowed to exchange energy, both problems have linear-time solutions on trees. On the other hand for general undirected and directed graphs we show that these problems are NP-complete.
Jurek Czyzowicz, Krzysztof Diks, Jean Moussi, Wojciech Rytter

Data Dissemination and Routing


Asynchronous Broadcasting with Bivalent Beeps

In broadcasting, one node of a network has a message that must be learned by all other nodes. We study deterministic algorithms for this fundamental communication task in a very weak model of wireless communication. The only signals sent by nodes are beeps. Moreover, they are delivered to neighbors of the beeping node in an asynchronous way: the time between sending and reception is finite but unpredictable. We first observe that under this scenario, no communication is possible, if beeps are all of the same strength. Hence we study broadcasting in the bivalent beeping model, where every beep can be either soft or loud. At the receiving end, if exactly one soft beep is received by a node in a round, it is heard as soft. Any other combination of beeps received in a round is heard as a loud beep. The cost of a broadcasting algorithm is the total number of beeps sent by all nodes.
We consider four levels of knowledge that nodes may have about the network: anonymity (no knowledge whatsoever), ad-hoc (all nodes have distinct labels and every node knows only its own label), neighborhood awareness (every node knows its label and labels of all neighbors), and full knowledge (every node knows the entire labeled map of the network and the identity of the source). We first show that in the anonymous case, broadcasting is impossible even for very simple networks. For each of the other three knowledge levels we provide upper and lower bounds on the minimum cost of a broadcasting algorithm. Our results show separations between all these scenarios. Perhaps surprisingly, the jump in broadcasting cost between the ad-hoc and neighborhood awareness levels is much larger than between the neighborhood awareness and full knowledge levels, although in the two former levels knowledge of nodes is local, and in the latter it is global.
Kokouvi Hounkanli, Andrzej Pelc

Sparsifying Congested Cliques and Core-Periphery Networks

The core-periphery network architecture proposed by Avin et al. [ICALP 2014] was shown to support fast computation for many distributed algorithms, while being much sparser than the congested clique. For being efficient, the core-periphery architecture is however bounded to satisfy three axioms, among which is the capability of the core to emulate the clique, i.e., to implement the all-to-all communication pattern, in O(1) rounds in the CONGEST model. In this paper, we show that implementing all-to-all communication in k rounds can be done in n-node networks with roughly \(n^2/k\) edges, and this bound is tight. Hence, sparsifying the core beyond just saving a fraction of the edges requires to relax the constraint on the time to simulate the congested clique. We show that, for \(p\gg \sqrt{\log n/n}\), a random graph in \(\mathcal{G}_{n,p}\) can, w.h.p., perform the all-to-all communication pattern in \(O(\min \{\frac{1}{p^2},n p\})\) rounds. Finally, we show that if the core can emulate the congested clique in t rounds, then there exists a distributed MST construction algorithm performing in \(O(t\log n)\) rounds. Hence, for \(t=O(1)\), our (deterministic) algorithm improves the best known (randomized) algorithm for constructing MST in core-periphery networks by a factor \(\varTheta (\log n)\).
Alkida Balliu, Pierre Fraigniaud, Zvi Lotker, Dennis Olivetti

Rumor Spreading with Bounded In-Degree

In the gossip-based model of communication for disseminating information in a network, in each time unit, every node u can contact a single random neighbor v but can possibly be contacted by many nodes. In the present paper, we consider a restricted model where at each node only one incoming call can be answered in one time unit. We study the implied weaker version of the well-studied pull protocol, which we call restricted pull.
We prove an exponential separation of the rumor spreading time between two variants of the protocol (the answered call among a set of calls is chosen adversarial or uniformly at random). Further, we show that if the answered call is chosen randomly, the slowdown of restricted pull versus the classic pull protocol can w.h.p. be upper bounded by \(O(\varDelta / \delta \cdot \log n)\), where \(\varDelta \) and \(\delta \) are the largest and smallest degree of the network.
Sebastian Daum, Fabian Kuhn, Yannic Maus

Whom to Befriend to Influence People

Alice wants to join a new social network, and influence its members to adopt a new product or idea. Each person v in the network has a certain threshold t(v) for activation, i.e. adoption of the product or idea. If v has at least t(v) activated neighbors, then v will also become activated. If Alice wants to activate the entire social network, whom should she befriend? We study the problem of finding the minimum number of links that Alice should form to people in the network, in order to activate the entire social network. This Minimum Links Problem has applications in viral marketing and the study of epidemics. We show that the solution can be quite different from the related and widely studied Target Set Selection problem. We prove that the Minimum Links problem is NP-complete, in fact it is hard to approximate to within an \(\epsilon \ln n\) factor for some constant \(\epsilon \), even for graphs with degree 3 and with threshold at most 2. In contrast, we give linear time algorithms to solve the problem for trees, cycles, and cliques, and give precise bounds on the number of links needed.
Manuel Lafond, Lata Narayanan, Kangkang Wu

Approximating the Size of a Radio Network in Beeping Model

In a single-hop radio network, nodes can communicate with each other by broadcasting to a shared wireless channel. In each time slot, all nodes receive feedback from the channel depending on the number of transmitters. In the Beeping Model, each node learns whether zero or at least one node have transmitted. In such a model, a procedure estimating the size of the network can be used for efficiently solving the problems of leader election or conflict resolution. We introduce a time-efficient uniform algorithm for size estimation of single-hop networks. With probability at least \(1-1/f\) our solution returns \((1+\varepsilon )\)-approximation of the network size n within \(\mathcal {O}\left( \log \log n+\log f/\varepsilon ^2\right) \) time slots. We prove that the algorithm is asymptotically time-optimal for any constant \(\varepsilon >0\).
Philipp Brandes, Marcin Kardas, Marek Klonowski, Dominik Pająk, Roger Wattenhofer

An Approximation Algorithm for Path Computation and Function Placement in SDNs

We consider the task of embedding multiple service requests in Software-Defined Networks (SDNs), i.e. computing (combined) mappings of network functions on physical nodes and finding routes to connect the mapped network functions. A single service request may either be fully embedded or be rejected. The objective is to maximize the sum of benefits of the served requests, while the solution must abide node and edge capacities.
We follow the framework suggested by Even et al. [5] for the specification of the network functions and routing of requests via processing-and-routing graphs (PR-graphs): a request is represented as a directed acyclic graph with the nodes representing network functions. Additionally, a unique source and a unique sink node are given for each request, such that any source-sink path represents a feasible chain of network functions to realize the service. This allows for example to choose between different realizations of the same network function. Requests are attributed with a global demand (e.g. specified in terms of bandwidth) and a benefit.
Our main result is a randomized approximation algorithm for path computation and function placement with the following guarantee. Let m denote the number of links in the substrate network, \(\varepsilon \) denote a parameter such that \(0< \varepsilon <1\), and \(\mathsf {opt}^*\) denote the maximum benefit that can be attained by a fractional solution (one in which requests may be partly served and flow may be split along multiple paths). Let \(c_{\min }\) denote the minimum edge capacity, let \(d_{\max }\) denote the maximum demand, and let \(b_{\max }\) denote the maximum benefit of a request. Let \(\varDelta _{\max }\) denote an upper bound on the number of processing stages a request undergoes. If \(c_{\min }/(\varDelta _{\max }\cdot d_{\max })=\varOmega ((\log m)/\varepsilon ^2)\), then with probability at least \(1-\frac{1}{m}-\textit{exp}(-\varOmega (\varepsilon ^2\cdot \mathsf {opt}^*/(b_{\max }\cdot d_{\max })))\), the algorithm computes a \((1-\varepsilon )\)-approximate solution.
Guy Even, Matthias Rost, Stefan Schmid

Transiently Consistent SDN Updates: Being Greedy is Hard

The software-defined networking paradigm introduces interesting opportunities to operate networks in a more flexible yet formally verifiable manner. Despite the logically centralized control, however, a Software-Defined Network (SDN) is still a distributed system, with inherent delays between the switches and the controller. Especially the problem of changing network configurations in a consistent manner, also known as the consistent network update problem, has received much attention over the last years. This paper revisits the problem of how to update an SDN in a transiently consistent, loop-free manner. First, we rigorously prove that computing a maximum (“greedy”) loop-free network update is generally NP-hard; this result has implications for the classic maximum acyclic subgraph problem (the dual feedback arc set problem) as well. Second, we show that for special problem instances, fast and good approximation algorithms exist.
Saeed Akhoondian Amiri, Arne Ludwig, Jan Marcinkowski, Stefan Schmid


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