Rendezvous of Mobile Agents When Tokens Fail Anytime

Shantanu Das, Matúš Mihalák, Rastislav Šrámek, Elias Vicari, Peter Widmayer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


We consider the problem of rendezvous or gathering of multiple autonomous entities (called mobile agents) moving in an unlabelled environment (modelled as a graph). The problem is usually solved using randomization or assuming distinct identities for the agents, such that they can execute different protocols. When the agents are all identical and deterministic, and the environment itself is symmetrical (e.g. A ring) it is difficult to break the symmetry between them unless, for example, the agents are provided with a token to mark the nodes. We consider fault-tolerant protocols for the problem where the tokens used by the agents may disappear unexpectedly. If all tokens fail, then it becomes impossible, in general, to solve the problem. However, we show that with any number of failures (less than a total collapse), we can always solve the problem if the original instance of the problem was solvable. Unlike previous solutions, we can tolerate failures occurring at arbitrary times during the execution of the algorithm. Our solution can be applied to any arbitrary network even when the topology is unknown.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS)
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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