Tight Bounds for Black Hole Search in Dynamic Rings

by   Giuseppe Antonio Di Luna, et al.

In this paper, we start the investigation of distributed computing by mobile agents in dangerous dynamic networks. The danger is posed by the presence in the network of a black hole BH, a harmful site that destroys all incoming agents without leaving any trace. The problem of determining the location of the black hole in a network, known as black hole search BHS, has been extensively studied in the literature, but always and only assuming that the network is static. At the same time, the existing results on mobile agents computing in dynamic networks never consider the presence of harmful sites. In this paper we start filling this research gap by studying black hole search in temporal rings, specifically focusing on 1-interval connectivity adversarial dynamics. The problem is solved if within finite time at least one agent survives and knows the location of BH. The main complexity parameter of BHS is the number of agents (called size) needed to solve the problem; other important parameters and the number of moves (called cost) performed by the agents; in synchronous systems, such as temporal rings, an additional complexity measure is the amount of time until termination occurs. Feasibility and complexity depend on many parameters; in particular: whether the agents start from the same safe node or from possibly distinct safe locations, the size n of the ring, whether or not n is known, and the type of inter-agent communication (whiteboards, tokens, face-to-face, visual). In this paper, we provide a complete feasibility characterization for all instances of those parameters; all our algorithms are size optimal. Furthermore, we establish lower bounds on the cost (i.e., the number of moves) and time of size-optimal solutions for all instances of those parameters and show that our algorithms achieve those bound.


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