On the value of coordination in distributed decision making

Sandy Irani*, Yuval Rabani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We discuss settings where several "agents" combine efforts to solve problems. This is a well-known setting in distributed artificial intelligence. Our work addresses theoretical questions in this model which are motivated by the work of Deng and Papadimitriou [Proc. 12th IFIPS Congress, Madrid, 1992; Proc. World Economic Congress, Moscow, 1992]. We consider optimization problems, in particular load balancing and virtual circuit routing, in which the input is divided among the agents. An underlying directed graph, whose nodes are the agents, defines the constraints on the information each agent may have about the portion of the input held by other agents. The questions we discuss are as follows: Given a bound on the maximum out-degree in this graph, which is the best graph? What is the quality of the solution obtained as a function of the maximum out-degree?

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)498-519
Number of pages22
JournalSIAM Journal on Computing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Analysis of algorithms
  • Competitive analysis
  • Distributed computation
  • Load balancing
  • Virtual circuit routing


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