Oblivious collaboration

Yehuda Afek*, Yakov Babichenko, Uriel Feige, Eli Gafni, Nati Linial, Benny Sudakov

*Corresponding author for this work

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

4 Scopus citations


We introduce oblivious protocols, a new framework for distributed computation with limited communication. Within this model we consider the musical chairs task MC(n,m), involving n players (processors) and m chairs. Initially, players occupy arbitrary chairs. Two players are in conflict if they both occupy the same chair. The task terminates when there are no conflicts and each player occupies a different chair. Our oblivious protocols use only limited communication, and do so in an asynchronous fashion. Essentially, a player can only observe whether the player itself is in conflict or not, and nothing else. A player observing no conflict halts and never changes its chair, whereas a player observing a conflict changes its chair according to its deterministic program. Known results imply that even with more general communication primitives, no strategy of the players can guarantee termination if m < 2n - 1. We show that even with this minimal communication termination can be guaranteed with only m = 2n - 1 chairs. Our oblivious protocol can be extended to the well-known Adaptive Renaming problem, using a name-space that is as small as that of the optimal nonoblivious protocol. We also make substantial progress in optimizing other parameters (such as program length) for our protocols, though many interesting questions remain open.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationDistributed Computing - 25th International Symposium, DISC 2011, Proceedings
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2011
Event25th International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2011 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 20 Sep 201122 Sep 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume6950 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference25th International Symposium on Distributed Computing, DISC 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Oblivious collaboration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this