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Algorithmic Foundations of Self-Organizing Programmable Matter

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Imagine that we have a piece of matter that can change its physical properties like its shape, density, conductivity, or color in a programmable fashion based on either user input

Imagine that we have a piece of matter that can change its physical properties like its shape, density, conductivity, or color in a programmable fashion based on either user input or autonomous sensing. This is the vision behind what is commonly known as programmable matter. Envisioning systems of nano-sensors devices, programmable matter consists of systems of simple computational elements, called particles, that can establish and release bonds, compute, and can actively move in a self-organized way. In this dissertation the feasibility of solving fundamental problems relevant for programmable matter is investigated. As a model for such self-organizing particle systems (SOPS), the geometric amoebot model is introduced. In this model, particles only have local information and have modest computational power. They achieve locomotion by expanding and contracting, which resembles the behavior of amoeba. Under this model, efficient local-control algorithms for the leader election problem in SOPS are presented. As a central problem for programmable matter, shape formation problems are then studied. The limitations of solving the leader election problem and the shape formation problem on a more general version of the amoebot model are also discussed. The \smart paint" problem is also studied which aims at having the particles self-organize in order to uniformly coat the surface of an object of arbitrary shape and size, forming multiple coating layers if necessary. A Universal Coating algorithm is presented and shown to be asymptotically worst-case optimal both in terms of time with high probability and work. In particular, the algorithm always terminates within a linear number of rounds with high probability. A linear lower bound on the competitive gap between fully local coating algorithms and coating algorithms that rely on global information is presented, which implies that the proposed algorithm is also optimal in a competitive sense. Simulation results show that the competitive ratio of the proposed algorithm may be better than linear in practice. Developed algorithms utilize only local control, require only constant-size memory particles, and are asymptotically optimal in terms of the total number of particle movements needed to reach the desired shape configuration.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Robust and efficient medium access despite jamming

Description

Interference constitutes a major challenge for communication networks operating over a shared medium where availability is imperative. This dissertation studies the problem of designing and analyzing efficient medium access protocols

Interference constitutes a major challenge for communication networks operating over a shared medium where availability is imperative. This dissertation studies the problem of designing and analyzing efficient medium access protocols which are robust against strong adversarial jamming. More specifically, four medium access (MAC) protocols (i.e., JADE, ANTIJAM, COMAC, and SINRMAC) which aim to achieve high throughput despite jamming activities under a variety of network and adversary models are presented. We also propose a self-stabilizing leader election protocol, SELECT, that can effectively elect a leader in the network with the existence of a strong adversary. Our protocols can not only deal with internal interference without the exact knowledge on the number of participants in the network, but they are also robust to unintentional or intentional external interference, e.g., due to co-existing networks or jammers. We model the external interference by a powerful adaptive and/or reactive adversary which can jam a (1 − ε)-portion of the time steps, where 0 < ε ≤ 1 is an arbitrary constant. We allow the adversary to be adaptive and to have complete knowledge of the entire protocol history. Moreover, in case the adversary is also reactive, it uses carrier sensing to make informed decisions to disrupt communications. Among the proposed protocols, JADE, ANTIJAM and COMAC are able to achieve Θ(1)-competitive throughput with the presence of the strong adversary; while SINRMAC is the first attempt to apply SINR model (i.e., Signal to Interference plus Noise Ratio), in robust medium access protocols design; the derived principles are also useful to build applications on top of the MAC layer, and we present SELECT, which is an exemplary study for leader election, which is one of the most fundamental tasks in distributed computing.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012