Global optimization using local information with applications to flow control

Yair Bartal*, John W. Byers, Danny Raz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Flow control in high speed networks requires distributed routers to make fast decisions based only on local information in allocating bandwidth to connections. While most previous work on this problem focuses on achieving local objective functions, in many cases it may be necessary to achieve global objectives such as maximizing the total flow. This problem illustrates one of the basic aspects of distributed computing: achieving global objectives using local information. Papadimitriou and Yannakakis [PY93] initiated the study of such problems in a framework of solving positive linear programs by distributed agents. We lake their model further, by allowing the distributed agents to acquire more information over time. We therefore turn attention to the tradeoff between the running time and the quality of the solution to the linear program. We give a distributed algorithm that obtains a(1+ε) approximation to the global optimum solution and runs in a polylogarithmic number of distributed rounds. While comparable in running time, our results exhibit a significant improvement on the logarithmic ratio previously obtained by [AA94]. Our algorithm, which draws from techniques developed by Luby and Nisan [LN93], is considerably simpler than previous approximation algorithms for positive linear programs, and thus may have practical value in both centralized and distributed settings.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
JournalAnnual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science - Proceedings
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1997 38th IEEE Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science - Miami Beach, FL, USA
Duration: 20 Oct 199722 Oct 1997


Dive into the research topics of 'Global optimization using local information with applications to flow control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this