Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of blog reports by my PhD student Gary Bennett who attended the annual British Colloquium for Theoretical Computer Science (BCTCS) 2018 at Royal Holloway University of London. Apparently, he really enjoyed himself!
Day 2 of BCTCS 2018: today is an important day as there is a series of Distributed Systems talks, I having the honour of delivering one of them.
The first talk on Distributed Systems was delivered by Thomas Sauerwald of Cambridge University and was on Randomised Distributed Algorithms; such algorithms use random bits to determine some steps in their execution. These algorithms are usually elegant in their design and implementation, while in some cases providing solutions that are impossible in the deterministic setting.
Thomas presented two examples in his talk on randomised algorithms focusing on large distributed networks. The first algorithm used randomisation on a rounding step in a load balancing algorithm and the second used random sampling to reach consensus.
I was the second speaker in the distributed systems segment of the conference. In my talk, I gave a brief introduction to the classic problem of leader election and presented the direction of my current research on asynchronous leader election.
The final speaker for distributed systems was Radu Ștefan Mincu. Admittedly at the beginning of his talk he admitted that his work very centralised. However, it was still very interesting. His talk was on multi-channel Wireless Mesh Networks (WMN), where each node may use multiple non-overlapping frequency channels. He presented 3 heuristic approximation algorithms to solve this problem.
The second day of the conference ended with a banquet in the founders buildings picture gallery. It was an extremely pleasant evening with conversations ranging from education to European nobility!