Information Infrastructures in Distributed Environments: Algorithms for Mobile Networks and Resource Allocation
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A distributed system is a collection of computing entities that communicate with each other to solve some problem. Distributed systems impact almost every aspect of daily life (e.g., cellular networks and the Internet); however, it is hard to develop services on top of distributed systems due to the unreliable nature of computing entities and communication. As handheld devices with wireless communication capabilities become increasingly popular, the task of providing services becomes even more challenging since dynamics, such as mobility, may cause the network topology to change frequently. One way to ease this task is to develop collections of information infrastructures which can serve as building blocks to design more complicated services and can be analyzed independently. The first part of the dissertation considers the dining philosophers problem (a generalization of the mutual exclusion problem) in static networks. A solution to the dining philosophers problem can be utilized when there is a need to prevent multiple nodes from accessing some shared resource simultaneously. We present two algorithms that solve the dining philosophers problem. The first algorithm considers an asynchronous message-passing model while the second one considers an asynchronous shared-memory model. Both algorithms are crash fault-tolerant in the sense that a node crash only affects its local neighborhood in the network. We utilize failure detectors (system services that provide some information about crash failures in the system) to achieve such crash fault-tolerance. In addition to crash fault-tolerance, the first algorithm provides fairness in accessing shared resources and the second algorithm tolerates transient failures (unexpected corruptions to the system state). Considering the message-passing model, we also provide a reduction such that given a crash fault-tolerant solution to our dining philosophers problem, we implement the failure detector that we have utilized to solve our dining philosophers problem. This reduction serves as the first step towards identifying the minimum information regarding crash failures that is required to solve the dining philosophers problem at hand. In the second part of this dissertation, we present information infrastructures for mobile ad hoc networks. In particular, we present solutions to the following problems in mobile ad hoc environments: (1) maintaining neighbor knowledge, (2) neighbor detection, and (3) leader election. The solutions to (1) and (3) consider a system with perfectly synchronized clocks while the solution to (2) considers a system with bounded clock drift. Services such as neighbor detection and maintaining neighbor knowledge can serve as a building block for applications that require point-to-point communication. A solution to the leader election problem can be used whenever there is a need for a unique coordinator in the system to perform a special task.
Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
Dining Philosophers Problem
Chung, Hyun-Chul (2013). Information Infrastructures in Distributed Environments: Algorithms for Mobile Networks and Resource Allocation. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from