Dynamics of spectral algorithms for distributed routing
Author(s)Maymounkov, Petar (Petar Borissov)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
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In the past few decades distributed systems have evolved from man-made machines to organically changing social, economic and protein networks. This transition has been overwhelming in many ways at once. Dynamic, heterogeneous, irregular topologies have taken the place of static, homogeneous, regular ones. Asynchronous, ad hoc peer-to-peer networks have replaced carefully engineered super-computers, governed by globally synchronized clocks. Modern network scales have demanded distributed data structures in place of traditionally centralized ones. While the core problems of routing remain mostly unchanged, the sweeping changes of the computing environment invoke an altogether new science of algorithmic and analytic techniques. It is these techniques that are the focus of the present work. We address the re-design of routing algorithms in three classical domains: multi-commodity routing, broadcast routing and all-pairs route representation. Beyond their practical value, our results make pleasing contributions to Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science. We exploit surprising connections to NP-hard approximation, and we introduce new techniques in metric embeddings and spectral graph theory. The distributed computability of "oblivious routes", a core combinatorial property of every graph and a key ingredient in route engineering, opens interesting questions in the natural and experimental sciences as well. Oblivious routes are "universal" communication pathways in networks which are essentially unique. They are magically robust as their quality degrades smoothly and gracefully with changes in topology or blemishes in the computational processes. While we have only recently learned how to find them algorithmically, their power begs the question whether naturally occurring networks from Biology to Sociology to Economics have their own mechanisms of finding and utilizing these pathways. Our discoveries constitute a significant progress towards the design of a self-organizing Internet, whose infrastructure is fueled entirely by its participants on an equal citizen basis. This grand engineering challenge is believed to be a potential technological solution to a long line of pressing social and human rights issues in the digital age. Some prominent examples include non-censorship, fair bandwidth allocation, privacy and ownership of social data, the right to copy information, non-discrimination based on identity, and many others.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 109-117).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.