Distributed convex thresholding

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Over the last fifteen years, a large group of algorithms emerged which compute various predicates from distributed data with a focus on communication efficiency. These algorithms are often called "communication-efficient", "geometric-monitoring", or "local" algorithms. We jointly call them distributed convex thresholding algorithms, for reasons which will be explained in this work. Distributed convex thresholding algorithms have found their applications in domains in which bandwidth is a scarce resource, such as wireless sensor networks and peer-to-peer systems, or in scenarios in which data rapidly streams to the different processors but outcome of the predicate rarely changes. Common to all of these algorithms is the use of a data dependent criteria to determine when further messaging is required. This work presents two very simple yet exceedingly general theorems from which the correctness of all distributed convex thresholding algorithms can be elicited, and demonstrates that for key examples. Because the theorems are general, they extend the range of predicates which can be computed in a communication efficient manner beyond what is currently known. Unlike the previous correction proofs given to these algorithms, the proofs of the theorems presented here do not depend on the communication infrastructure. So the correctness of any distributed convex thresholding algorithm is immediately extended from broadcast enabled networks or from cycle free networks to general networks. Inspecting existing algorithms in light of the new theorems reveals that they contain redundant requirements, which cause them to send messages when indeed none are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPODC 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450336178
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC 2015 - Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
Duration: 21 Jul 201523 Jul 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing


ConferenceACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC 2015
CityDonostia-San Sebastian

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2015 ACM.


  • Communication efficient algorithms
  • Geometric monitoring
  • Local algorithms
  • Peer-to-peer systems
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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