Distributed Computing

Volume 7611 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 136-150

Fast Distributed Computation in Dynamic Networks via Random Walks

  • Atish Das SarmaAffiliated witheBay Research Labs, eBay Inc.
  • , Anisur Rahaman MollaAffiliated withDivision of Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
  • , Gopal PanduranganAffiliated withDivision of Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological UniversityDepartment of Computer Science, Brown University

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The paper investigates efficient distributed computation in dynamic networks in which the network topology changes (arbitrarily) from round to round. Random walks are a fundamental primitive in a wide variety of network applications; the local and lightweight nature of random walks is especially useful for providing uniform and efficient solutions to distributed control of dynamic networks. Given their applicability in dynamic networks, we focus on developing fast distributed algorithms for performing random walks in such networks.

Our first contribution is a rigorous framework for design and analysis of distributed random walk algorithms in dynamic networks. We then develop a fast distributed random walk based algorithm that runs in \(\tilde{O}(\sqrt{\tau \Phi})\) rounds (with high probability), where τ is the dynamic mixing time and Φ is the dynamic diameter of the network respectively, and returns a sample close to a suitably defined stationary distribution of the dynamic network.

Our next contribution is a fast distributed algorithm for the fundamental problem of information dissemination (also called as gossip) in a dynamic network. In gossip, or more generally, k-gossip, there are k pieces of information (or tokens) that are initially present in some nodes and the problem is to disseminate the k tokens to all nodes. We present a random-walk based algorithm that runs in \(\tilde{O}(\min\{n^{1/3}k^{2/3}(\tau \Phi)^{1/3}, nk\})\) rounds (with high probability). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first o(nk)-time fully-distributed token forwarding algorithm that improves over the previous-best O(nk) round distributed algorithm [Kuhn et al., STOC 2010], although in an oblivious adversary model.


Dynamic Network Distributed Algorithm Random walks Random sampling Information Dissemination Gossip