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Distributed Systems

Almost every computing system nowadays is distributed, ranging from multi-core laptops to Internet-scale services; understanding the principles of distributed computing is hence important for the design and engineering of modern computing systems.  Fundamental issues that arise in reliable and efficient distributed systems include developing adequate methods for modeling failures and synchrony assumptions, determining precise performance bounds on implementations of concurrent data structures, capturing the trade-off between consistency and efficiency, and demarcating the frontier of feasibility in distributed computing.

For example, popular Internet services and applications such as CNN.com, YouTube, Facebook, Skype, BitTorrent attract millions of users every day, and only by the effective load-balancing and collaboration of many thousand machines, an acceptable Quality-of-Service/Quality-of-Experience can be guaranteed. While distributed systems promise a good scalability as well as a high robustness, they pose challenging research problems, such as: How to design robust and scalable distributed architectures and services? How to coordinate access to a shared resource, e.g., by electing a leader? Or how to provide incentives for cooperation in an open, collaborative distributed system?

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Selected Publications

A Jamming-Resistant MAC Protocol for Multi-Hop Wireless Networks
Citation key RSSZ-AJRMPFMHWN-10
Author Richa, Andréa and Scheideler, Christian and Schmid, Stefan and Zhang, Jin
Year 2010
Month July
Note ID arXiv:1007.1189
Institution arXiv.org
Abstract This paper presents a simple local medium access control protocol, called Jade, for multi-hop wireless networks with a single channel that is provably robust against adaptive adversarial jamming. The wireless network is modeled as a unit disk graph on a set of nodes distributed arbitrarily in the plane. In addition to these nodes, there are adversarial jammers that know the protocol and its entire history and that are allowed to jam the wireless channel at any node for an arbitrary (1-ε)-fraction of the time steps, where 0<ε<1 is an arbitrary constant. We assume that the nodes cannot distinguish between jammed transmissions and collisions of regular messages. Nevertheless, we show that Jade achieves an asymptotically optimal throughput if there is a sufficiently dense distribution of nodes.
Bibtex Type of Publication Technical Report
Link to publication Link to original publication Download Bibtex entry

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