Distributed scheduling for disconnected cooperation

Grzegorz Malewicz, Alexander Russell, Alexander A. Shvartsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Ability to cooperate on common tasks in a distributed setting is key to solving a broad range of computation problems ranging from distributed search such as SETI to distributed simulation and multi-agent collaboration. In such settings there exists a trade-off between computation and communication: both resources must be managed to decrease redundant computation and to ensure efficient computational progress. This paper deals with scheduling issues for distributed collaboration. Specifically, we examine the extreme situation where initially collaboration must occur without communication. That is, we consider the extent to which efficient collaboration is possible if all resources are directed to computation at the expense of communication. The results summarized here precisely characterize the ability of distributed agents to collaborate on a known collection of independent tasks by means of local scheduling decisions that require no communication and that achieve low redundancy in task executions. Such scheduling solutions exhibit an interesting connection between the distributed collaboration problem and the design theory. The lower bounds presented here along with the randomized and deterministic schedule constructions show the limitations on such low-redundancy cooperation and show that schedules with near-optimal redundancy can be efficiently constructed by processors working in isolation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-420
Number of pages12
JournalDistributed Computing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Combinatorial design theory
  • Cooperative work
  • Distributed computing
  • Scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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