Gathering despite mischief

Yoann Dieudonné, Andrzej Pelc, David Peleg

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

13 Scopus citations


A team consisting of an unknown number of mobile agents, starting from different nodes of an unknown network, have to meet at the same node. Agents move in synchronous rounds. Each agent has a different label. Up to f of the agents are Byzantine. We consider two levels of Byzantine behavior. A strongly Byzantine agent can choose an arbitrary port when it moves and it can convey arbitrary information to other agents, while a weakly Byzantine agent can do the same, except changing its label. What is the minimum number of good agents that guarantees deterministic gathering of all of them, with termination? We solve exactly this Byzantine gathering problem in arbitrary networks for weakly Byzantine agents, and give approximate solutions for strongly Byzantine agents, both when the size of the network is known and when it is unknown. It turns out that both the strength versus weakness of Byzantine behavior and the knowledge of network size significantly impact the results. For weakly Byzantine agents we show that any number of good agents permit to solve the problem for networks of known size. If the size is unknown, then this minimum number is f + 2. More precisely, we show a deterministic polynomial algorithm that gathers all good agents in an arbitrary network, provided that there are at least f + 2 of them. We also provide a matching lower bound: we prove that if the number of good agents is at most f + 1, then they are not able to gather deterministically with termination in some networks. For strongly Byzantine agents we give a lower bound of f + 1, even when the graph is known: we show that f good agents cannot gather deterministically in the presence of f Byzantine agents even in a ring of known size. On the positive side we give deterministic gathering algorithms for at least 2f + 1 good agents when the size of the network is known, and for at least 4f + 2 good agents when it is unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, SODA 2012
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781611972108
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, SODA 2012 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 17 Jan 201219 Jan 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms


Conference23rd Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, SODA 2012


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