Distributed Averaging and Gossiping

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 9:00am - 10:30am
Lind 305
A. Stephen Morse (Yale University)
One particular type of consensus process which has received much attention lately is called “distributed averaging.” By the distributed averaging problem is meant the problem of computing the average value of a set of numbers possessed by the agents in a distributed network using only communication between neighboring agents. Gossiping is a well known approach to the problem which seeks to iteratively arrive at a solution by allowing each agent to interchange information with at most one neighbor at each iterative step. Crafting a gossiping protocol which accomplishes this is challenging because gossiping is an inherently collaborative process which can lead to deadlock unless careful precautions are taken to ensure that it does not. The actual sequence of gossip pairs which occurs during a specific gossiping process might be determined either probabilistically or deterministically, depending on the problem of interest. It is the latter type of process to which this talk is addressed.