## Abstract

A central theme in distributed network algorithms concerns understanding and coping with the issue of em locality. Despite considerable progress, research efforts in this direction have not yet resulted in a solid basis in the form of a fundamental computational complexity theory for locality. Inspired by sequential complexity theory, we focus on a complexity theory for distributed decision problems}. In the context of locality, solving a decision problem requires the processors to independently inspect their local neighborhoods and then collectively decide whether a given global input instance belongs to some specified language. We consider the standard LOCAL model of computation and define LD(t) (for local decision) as the class of decision problems that can be solved in t communication rounds. We first study the intriguing question of whether randomization helps in local distributed computing, and to what extent. Specifically, we define the corresponding randomized class BPLD(t,p,q), containing all languages for which there exists a randomized algorithm that runs in t rounds, accepts correct instances with probability at least p and rejects incorrect ones with probability at least q. We show that p ^{2}+q = 1 is a threshold for the containment of LD(t) in BPLD(t,p,q). More precisely, we show that there exists a language that does not belong to LD(t) for any t=o(n) but does belong to BPLD(0,p,q) for any p,q ∈ (0,1] such that p ^{2}+q ≤ 1. On the other hand, we show that, restricted to hereditary languages, BPLD(t,p,q) = LD(O(t)), for any function t and any p,q ∈ (0,1] such that p ^{2}+q> 1. In addition, we investigate the impact of non-determinism on local decision, and establish some structural results inspired by classical computational complexity theory. Specifically, we show that non-determinism does help, but that this help is limited, as there exist languages that cannot be decided non-deterministically. Perhaps surprisingly, it turns out that it is the combination of randomization with non-determinism that enables to decide all languages in constant time. Finally, we introduce the notion of local reduction, and establish some completeness results.

Original language | English |
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Title of host publication | Proceedings - 2011 IEEE 52nd Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2011 |

Pages | 708-717 |

Number of pages | 10 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2011 |

Externally published | Yes |

Event | 2011 IEEE 52nd Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2011 - Palm Springs, CA, United States Duration: 22 Oct 2011 → 25 Oct 2011 |

### Publication series

Name | Proceedings - Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS |
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ISSN (Print) | 0272-5428 |

### Conference

Conference | 2011 IEEE 52nd Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS 2011 |
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Country/Territory | United States |

City | Palm Springs, CA |

Period | 22/10/11 → 25/10/11 |

## Keywords

- local decision
- local distributed algorithms
- nondeterminism
- oracles
- randomized algorithms