Fabulae: Medea, Alcestis, Hecuba, Electra, Ion, Helena, Cyclops

B.G. Teubner

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B.G. Teubner
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Published on
Dec 31, 1899
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In this book we are interested in studying mobile agents as modeled in distributed systems research and in particular within the framework of research performed in the distributed algorithms community. In this literature, the agents are generally modeled as automata that move on a network modeled as a graph. The paradigm of mobile agent computing has seen use in fields as diverse as artificial intelligence, computational economics, and robotics. Agents bring potential advantages in terms of efficiency, fault-tolerance, flexibility and simplicity. A fundamental question in this area is how to achieve rendezvous, the gathering of two or more agents at the same node of the network. Like leader election, such an operation is a useful subroutine in more general computations that may require the agents to synchronize, share information, divide up chores, etc. The purpose of this monograph is to provide an introduction to the algorithmic issues raised by the rendezvous problem in the distributed computing setting. For the most part our investigation concentrates on the simplest case of two agents attempting to rendezvous on a ring network. Other situations including multiple agents, faulty nodes and other topologies are also examined. An extensive bibliography provides many pointers to related work not covered in the text. The presentation has a distinctly algorithmic, rigorous, distributed computing flavor and most results should be easily accessible to advanced undergraduate and graduate students in computer science and mathematics departments.
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