GANG - 2018

Section: New Results

Models and Algorithms for Networks

Revisiting Radius, Diameter, and all Eccentricity Computation in Graphs through Certificates

In [28], we introduce notions of certificates allowing to bound eccentricities in a graph. In particular , we revisit radius (minimum eccentricity) and diameter (maximum eccentricity) computation and explain the efficiency of practical radius and diameter algorithms by the existence of small certificates for radius and diameter plus few additional properties. We show how such computation is related to covering a graph with certain balls or complementary of balls. We introduce several new algorithmic techniques related to eccentricity computation and propose algorithms for radius, diameter and all eccentricities with theoretical guarantees with respect to certain graph parameters. This is complemented by experimental results on various real-world graphs showing that these parameters appear to be low in practice. We also obtain refined results in the case where the input graph has low doubling dimension, has low hyperbolicity, or is chordal.

Efficient Loop Detection in Forwarding Networks and Representing Atoms in a Field of Sets

In [29], we consider the problem of detecting loops in a forwarding network which is known to be NP-complete when general rules such as wildcard expressions are used. Yet, network analyzer tools such as Netplumber (Kazemian et al., NSDI'13) or Veriflow (Khurshid et al., NSDI'13) efficiently solve this problem in networks with thousands of forwarding rules. In this paper, we complement such experimental validation of practical heuristics with the first provably efficient algorithm in the context of general rules. Our main tool is a canonical representation of the atoms (i.e. the minimal non-empty sets) of the field of sets generated by a collection of sets. This tool is particularly suited when the intersection of two sets can be efficiently computed and represented. In the case of forwarding networks, each forwarding rule is associated with the set of packet headers it matches. The atoms then correspond to classes of headers with same behavior in the network. We propose an algorithm for atom computation and provide the first polynomial time algorithm for loop detection in terms of number of classes (which can be exponential in general). This contrasts with previous methods that can be exponential, even in simple cases with linear number of classes. Second, we introduce a notion of network dimension captured by the overlapping degree of forwarding rules. The values of this measure appear to be very low in practice and constant overlapping degree ensures polynomial number of header classes. Forwarding loop detection is thus polynomial in forwarding networks with constant overlapping degree.

Exact Distance Oracles Using Hopsets

In [33], we consider for fixed h2 the task of adding to a graph G a set of weighted shortcut edges on the same vertex set, such that the length of a shortest h-hop path between any pair of vertices in the augmented graph is exactly the same as the original distance between these vertices in G. A set of shortcut edges with this property is called an exact h-hopset and may be applied in processing distance queries on graph G. In particular, a 2-hopset directly corresponds to a distributed distance oracle known as a hub labeling. In this work, we explore centralized distance oracles based on 3-hopsets and display their advantages in several practical scenarios. In particular, for graphs of constant highway dimension, and more generally for graphs of constant skeleton dimension, we show that 3-hopsets require exponentially fewer shortcuts per node than any previously described distance oracle while incurring only a quadratic increase in the query decoding time, and actually offer a speedup when compared to simple oracles based on a direct application of 2-hopsets. Finally, we consider the problem of computing minimum-size h-hopset (for any h2) for a given graph G, showing a polylogarithmic-factor approximation for the case of unique shortest path graphs. When h=3, for a given bound on the space used by the distance oracle, we provide a construction of hopsets achieving polylog approximation both for space and query time compared to the optimal 3-hopset oracle given the space bound.

Game Theory in Networks

Two notable contributions to game theory applied to networks are worth being mentioned.

In [14], we show that the Preferential Attachment rule naturally emerges in the context of evolutionary network formation, as the unique Nash equilibrium of a simple social network game. To demonstrate this result, we start from the fact that each node of a social network aims at maximizing its degree in the future, as this degree is representing its social capital in the “society” formed by the nodes and their connections. We show that, to maximize the node degree in the future, the unique Nash equilibrium consists in playing the Preferential Attachment rule when each node connects to the network. This result provides additional formal support to the commonly used Preferential Attachment model, initially designed to capture the “rich get richer” aphorism. In the process of establishing our result, we expose new connections between Preferential Attachment, random walks, and Young's Lattice.

In [20], we notice that distributed tasks such as constructing a maximal independent set (MIS) in a network, or properly coloring the nodes or the edges of a network with reasonably few colors, are known to admit efficient distributed randomized algorithms. Those algorithms essentially proceed according to some simple generic rules, by letting each node choosing a temptative value at random, and checking whether this choice is consistent with the choices of the nodes in its vicinity. If this is the case, then the node outputs the chosen value, else it repeats the same process. However, although such algorithms are, with high probability, running in a polylogarithmic number of rounds, they are not robust against actions performed by rational but selfish nodes. Indeed, such nodes may prefer specific individual outputs over others, e.g., because the formers suit better with some individual constraints. For instance, a node may prefer not being placed in a MIS as it is not willing to serve as a relay node. Similarly, a node may prefer not being assigned some radio frequencies (i.e., colors) as these frequencies would interfere with other devices running at that node. We show that the probability distribution governing the choices of the output values in the generic algorithm can be tuned such that no nodes will rationally deviate from this distribution. More formally, and more generally, we prove that the large class of so-called LCL tasks, including MIS and coloring, admit simple “Luby's style” algorithms where the probability distribution governing the individual choices of the output values forms a Nash equilibrium. In fact, we establish the existence of a stronger form of equilibria, called symmetric trembling-hand perfect equilibria for those games.