Competitive distributed file allocation

Baruch Awerbuch*, Yair Bartal, Amos Fiat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper deals with the file allocation problem [6] concerning the dynamic optimization of communication costs to access data in a distributed environment. We develop a dynamic file re-allocation strategy that adapts on-line to a sequence of read and write requests whose location and relative frequencies are completely unpredictable. This is achieved by replicating the file in response to read requests and migrating the file in response to write requests while paying the associated communications costs, so as to be closer to processors that access it frequently. We develop first explicit deterministic on-line strategy assuming existence of global information about the state of the network; previous (deterministic) solutions were complicated and more expensive. Our solution has (optimal) logarithmic competitive ratio. The paper also contains the first explicit deterministic data migration [7] algorithm achieving the best known competitive ratio for this problem. Using somewhat different technique, we also develop the first deterministic distributed file allocation algorithm (using only local information) with poly-logarithmic competitive ratio against a globally optimized optimal prescient strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-40
Number of pages40
JournalInformation and Computation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2003


FundersFunder number
Israeli Academy of Sciences
Ministry of Science and Arts
National Science Foundation9114440-CCR
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering9114440
Army Research OfficeDAAL03-86-K-0171
Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyN00014-J-92-1799
International Business Machines Corporation
Air Force Institute of TechnologyTNDGAFOSR-86-0078


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