Brief announcement: Stateless computation

Danny Dolev, Michael Erdmann, Neil Lutz, Michael Schapira, Adva Zair

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We present and explore a model of stateless and self-stabilizing distributed computation, inspired by real-world applications such as routing on today's Internet. Processors in our model do not have an internal state, but rather interact by repeatedly mapping incoming messages ("labels") to outgoing messages and output values. While seemingly too restrictive to be of interest, stateless computation encompasses both classical game-theoretic notions of strategic interaction and a broad range of practical applications (e.g., Internet protocols, circuits, diffusion of technologies in social networks). Our main technical contribution is a general impossibility result for stateless self-stabilization in our model, showing that even modest asynchrony (with wait times that are linear in the number of processors) can prevent a stateless protocol from reaching a stable global configuration. Furthermore, we present hardness results for verifying stateless self-stabilization. We also address several aspects of the computational power of stateless protocols. Most significantly, we show that short messages (of length that is logarithmic in the number of processors) yield substantial computational power, even on very poorly connected topologies.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationPODC 2017 - Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349925
StatePublished - 26 Jul 2017
Event36th ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC 2017 - Washington, United States
Duration: 25 Jul 201727 Jul 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing
VolumePart F129314


Conference36th ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Association for Computing Machinery.


  • Best-response dynamics
  • Network protocols
  • Self-stabilization


Dive into the research topics of 'Brief announcement: Stateless computation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this