Short Lectures on Distributed Computing 3: Let’s do some elections!

Elections are in the air!! – Oh well, that’s not much fun any more sadly so let’s do more mundane things like Computing!

Leader Election is  one of the foundational problems of distributed computing – starting with a 1977 paper by Le Lann. The idea is for the nodes in the network to elect a leader among their own – no mean task even for computers!

Here, the drosophila of distributed computing comes into form – the Ring topology! We discuss some examples and algorithms on rings. Then we visit some of our own results – sublinear probablistic Leader elections on topologies like good expanders and the most simultaneously time and message efficient Leader Election!

We also visit verification and proof labelling – an attempt to understand complexity in distributed computing in similar terms to P vs NP centralised computing.

Here are the lecture slides in pdf.

Author: Amitabh Trehan

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