Exact bounds for distributed graph colouring

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Title: Exact bounds for distributed graph colouring
Author: Rybicki, Joel
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Computer Science
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2011
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe201106091715
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: A distributed system is a collection of networked autonomous processing units which must work in a cooperative manner. Currently, large-scale distributed systems, such as various telecommunication and computer networks, are abundant and used in a multitude of tasks. The field of distributed computing studies what can be computed efficiently in such systems. Distributed systems are usually modelled as graphs where nodes represent the processors and edges denote communication links between processors. This thesis concentrates on the computational complexity of the distributed graph colouring problem. The objective of the graph colouring problem is to assign a colour to each node in such a way that no two nodes connected by an edge share the same colour. In particular, it is often desirable to use only a small number of colours. This task is a fundamental symmetry-breaking primitive in various distributed algorithms. A graph that has been coloured in this manner using at most k different colours is said to be k-coloured. This work examines the synchronous message-passing model of distributed computation: every node runs the same algorithm, and the system operates in discrete synchronous communication rounds. During each round, a node can communicate with its neighbours and perform local computation. In this model, the time complexity of a problem is the number of synchronous communication rounds required to solve the problem. It is known that 3-colouring any k-coloured directed cycle requires at least ½(log* k - 3) communication rounds and is possible in ½(log* k + 7) communication rounds for all k ≥ 3. This work shows that for any k ≥ 3, colouring a k-coloured directed cycle with at most three colours is possible in ½(log* k + 3) rounds. In contrast, it is also shown that for some values of k, colouring a directed cycle with at most three colours requires at least ½(log* k + 1) communication rounds. Furthermore, in the case of directed rooted trees, reducing a k-colouring into a 3-colouring requires at least log* k + 1 rounds for some k and possible in log* k + 3 rounds for all k ≥ 3. The new positive and negative results are derived using computational methods, as the existence of distributed colouring algorithms corresponds to the colourability of so-called neighbourhood graphs. The colourability of these graphs is analysed using Boolean satisfiability (SAT) solvers. Finally, this thesis shows that similar methods are applicable in capturing the existence of distributed algorithms for other graph problems, such as the maximal matching problem.
Subject: graph colouring
distributed algorithms
colour reduction
Cole–Vishkin techniques
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