Computations in undistinguished networks
The correctness of most distributed algorithms depends on the existence of a unique name for each computer in the network. Several authors have investigated the consequences of the absence of such names on the sort of computations that can be performed on a network. It has been shown that it is not always possible to perform even relatively simple distributed computations such as determining the network topology or electing a leader if the number of nodes in the network is not known.
We make an additional assumption: that the number of nodes in the network is known to each node. We demonstrate distributed decision procedures to determine whether it is possible to compute network topology or carry out elections. The decision procedures can be modified into algorithms to determine topology and elect unique leaders in those topologies where it is possible to do so.
KeywordsDeterministic Algorithm Unique Leader Port Number Network Program Input Alphabet
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