Distributed Computing

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 95–109 | Cite as

Time versus space trade-offs for rendezvous in trees

  • Jurek Czyzowicz
  • Adrian KosowskiEmail author
  • Andrzej Pelc


Two identical (anonymous) mobile agents start from arbitrary nodes of an unknown tree and have to meet at some node. Agents move in synchronous rounds: in each round an agent can either stay at the current node or move to one of its neighbors. We consider deterministic algorithms for this rendezvous task. The main result of this paper is a tight trade-off between the optimal time of completing rendezvous and the size of memory of the agents. For agents with \(k\) memory bits, we show that optimal rendezvous time is \(\Theta (n+n^2/k)\) in \(n\)-node trees. More precisely, if \(k \ge c\log n\), for some constant \(c\), we design agents accomplishing rendezvous in arbitrary trees of size \(n\) (unknown to the agents) in time \(O(n+n^2/k)\), starting with arbitrary delay. We also show that no pair of agents can accomplish rendezvous in time \(o(n+n^2/k)\), even in the class of lines of known length and even with simultaneous start. Finally, we prove that at least logarithmic memory is necessary for rendezvous, even for agents starting simultaneously in a \(n\)-node line.


Rendezvous Anonymous agents Time Memory space 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jurek Czyzowicz
    • 1
  • Adrian Kosowski
    • 2
    Email author
  • Andrzej Pelc
    • 1
  1. 1.Département d’informatiqueUniversité du Québec en OutaouaisGatineauCanada
  2. 2.CEPAGE ProjectInria Bordeaux Sud-OuestTalenceFrance

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