SIAM Journal on Computing
Efficient counting with optimal resilience
Consider a complete communication network of $n$ nodes, where the nodes receive a common clock pulse. We study the synchronous $c$-counting problem: given any starting state and up to $f$ faulty nodes with arbitrary behaviour, the task is to eventually have all correct nodes labeling the pulses with increasing values modulo $c$ in agreement. Thus, we are considering algorithms that are self-stabilising despite Byzantine failures. In this work, we give new algorithms for the synchronous counting problem that (1) are deterministic, (2) have optimal resilience, (3) have a linear stabilisation time in $f$ (asymptotically optimal), (4) use a small number of states, and consequently, (5) communicate a small number of bits per round. Prior algorithms either resort to randomisation, use a large number of states and need high communication bandwidth, or have suboptimal resilience. In particular, we achieve an exponential improvement in both state complexity and message size for deterministic algorithms. Moreover, we present two complementary approaches for reducing the number of bits communicated during and after stabilisation.
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