Distributed computation in dynamic networks

Fabian Kuhn, Nancy Lynch, Rotem Oshman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In this paper we investigate distributed computation in dynamic networks in which the network topology changes from round to round. We consider a worst-case model in which the communication links for each round are chosen by an adversary, and nodes do not know who their neighbors for the current round are before they broadcast their messages. The model captures mobile networks and wireless networks, in which mobility and interference render communication unpredictable. In contrast to much of the existing work on dynamic networks, we do not assume that the network eventually stops changing; we require correctness and termination even in networks that change continually. We introduce a stability property called T -interval connectivity (for T ≥ 1), which stipulates that for every T consecutive rounds there exists a stable connected spanning subgraph. For T = 1 this means that the graph is connected in every round, but changes arbitrarily between rounds. We show that in 1-interval connected graphs it is possible for nodes to determine the size of the network and compute any com- putable function of their initial inputs in O(n 2) rounds using messages of size O(log n + d), where d is the size of the input to a single node. Further, if the graph is T-interval connected for T > 1, the computation can be sped up by a factor of T, and any function can be computed in O(n + n2/T) rounds using messages of size O(log n + d). We also give two lower bounds on the token dissemination problem, which requires the nodes to disseminate k pieces of information to all the nodes in the network. The T-interval connected dynamic graph model is a novel model, which we believe opens new avenues for research in the theory of distributed computing in wireless, mobile and dynamic networks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSTOC'10 - Proceedings of the 2010 ACM International Symposium on Theory of Computing
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event42nd ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 2010 - Cambridge, MA, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 20108 Jun 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing
ISSN (Print)0737-8017


Conference42nd ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCambridge, MA


  • distributed algorithms
  • dynamic networks


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