Abstract: We survey here some recent computational models for networks of tiny artifacts. In particular, we focus on networks consisting of artifacts with sensing capabilities. We first imagine the artifacts moving passively, that is, being mobile but unable to control their own movement. This leads us to the population protocol model of Angluin et al. (2004) [16]. We survey this model and some of its recent enhancements. In particular, we also present the mediatedpopulation protocol model in which the interaction links are capable of storing states and the passively mobile machines model in which the finite state nature of the agents is relaxed and the agents become multitape Turing machines that use a restricted space. We next survey the sensor field model, a general model capturing some identifying characteristics of many sensor network˘s settings. A sensor field is composed of kinds of devices that can communicate one to the other and also to the environment through input/output data streams. We, finally, present simulation results between sensor fields and populationprotocols and analyze the capability of their variants to decide graph properties

Abstract: We work on an extension of the Population Protocol model of Angluin et al. that allows edges of the communication graph, G, to have states that belong to a constant size set. In this extension, the so called MediatedPopulation Protocol model (MPP), both uniformity and anonymity are preserved. We here study a simplified version of MPP, the Graph Decision MediatedPopulation Protocol model (GDM), in order to capture MPP's ability to decide (stably compute) graph languages (sets of communication graphs). To understand properties of the communication graph is an important step in almost any distributed system. We prove that any graph language is undecidable if we allow disconnected communication graphs. As a result, we focus on studying the computational limits of the GDM model in (at least) weakly connected communication graphs only and give several examples of decidable graph languages in this case. To do so, we also prove that the class of decidable graph languages is closed under complement, union and intersection operations. Node and edge parity, bounded out-degree by a constant, existence of a node with more incoming than outgoing neighbors and existence of some directed path of length at least k=O(1) are some examples of properties whose decidability is proven. To prove the decidability of graph languages we provide protocols (GDMs) for them and exploit the closure results. Finally, we prove the existence of symmetry in two specific communication (sub)graphs which we believe is the first step towards the proof of impossibility results in the GDM model. In particular, we prove that there exists no GDM, whose states eventually stabilize, to decide whether G contains some directed cycle of length 2 (2-cycle).

Abstract: We extend here the Population Protocol model of Angluin et al. [2004] in order to model more powerful networks of very small resource-limited artefacts (agents) that are possibly mobile. Communication can happen only between pairs of artefacts. A communication graph (or digraph) denotes the permissible pairwise interactions. The main feature of our extended model is to allow edges of the communication graph, G, to have states that belong to a constant size set. We also allow edges to have readable only costs, whose values also belong to a constant size set. We then allow the protocol rules for pairwise interactions to modify the corresponding edge state. Thus, our protocol specifications are still independent of the population size and do not use agent ids, i.e. they preserve scalability, uniformity and anonymity. Our MediatedPopulationProtocols (MPP) can stably compute graph properties of the communication graph. We show this for the properties of maximal matchings (in undirected communication graphs), also for finding the transitive closure of directed graphs and for finding all edges of small cost. We demonstrate that our mediatedprotocols are stronger than the classical populationprotocols, by presenting a mediated protocol that stably computes the product of two positive integers, when G is the complete graph. This is not a semilinear predicate. To show this fact, we state and prove a general Theorem about the Composition of two stably computing mediatedpopulationprotocols. We also show that all predicates stably computable in our model are (non-uniformly) in the class NSPACE(m), where m is the number of edges of the communication graph. We also define Randomized MPP and show that, any Peano predicate accepted by a MPP, can be verified in deterministic Polynomial Time.

Abstract: Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) constitute a recent and promising new
technology that is widely applicable. Due to the applicability of this
technology and its obvious importance for the modern distributed
computational world, the formal scientific foundation of its inherent laws
becomes essential. As a result, many new computational models for WSNs
have been proposed. PopulationProtocols (PPs) are a special category of
such systems. These are mainly identified by three distinctive
characteristics: the sensor nodes (agents) move passively, that is, they
cannot control the underlying mobility pattern, the available memory to
each agent is restricted, and the agents interact in pairs. It has been
proven that a predicate is computable by the PP model iff it is
semilinear. The class of semilinear predicates is a fairly small class. In
this work, our basic goal is to enhance the PP model in order to improve
the computational power. We first make the assumption that not only the
nodes but also the edges of the communication graph can store restricted
states. In a complete graph of n nodes it is like having added O(n2)
additional memory cells which are only read and written by the endpoints
of the corresponding edge. We prove that the new model, called MediatedPopulation Protocol model, can operate as a distributed nondeterministic
Turing machine (TM) that uses all the available memory. The only
difference from a usual TM is that this one computes only symmetric
languages. More formally, we establish that a predicate is computable by
the new model iff it is symmetric and belongs to NSPACE(n2). Moreover, we
study the ability of the new model to decide graph languages (for general
graphs). The next step is to ignore the states of the edges and provide
another enhancement straight away from the PP model. The assumption now is
that the agents are multitape TMs equipped with infinite memory, that can
perform internal computation and interact with other agents, and we define
space-bounded computations. We call this the Passively mobile Machines
model. We prove that if each agent uses at most f(n) memory for f(n)={\`U}(log
n) then a predicate is computable iff it is symmetric and belongs to
NSPACE(nf(n)). We also show that this is not the case for f(n)=o(log n).
Based on these, we show that for f(n)={\`U}(log n) there exists a space
hierarchy like the one for classical symmetric TMs. We also show that the
latter is not the case for f(n)=o(loglog n), since here the corresponding
class collapses in the class of semilinear predicates and finally that for
f(n)={\`U}(loglog n) the class becomes a proper superset of semilinear
predicates. We leave open the problem of characterizing the classes for
f(n)={\`U}(loglog n) and f(n)=o(log n).

Abstract: In this work we extend the population protocol model of Angluin et al., in
order to model more powerful networks of very small resource limited
artefacts (agents) that is possible to follow some unpredictable passive
movement. These agents communicate in pairs according to the commands of
an adversary scheduler. A directed (or undirected) communication graph
encodes the following information: each edge (u,\~{o}) denotes that during the
computation it is possible for an interaction between u and \~{o} to happen in
which u is the initiator and \~{o} the responder. The new characteristic of
the proposed mediatedpopulation protocol model is the existance of a
passive communication provider that we call mediator. The mediator is a
simple database with communication capabilities. Its main purpose is to
maintain the permissible interactions in communication classes, whose
number is constant and independent of the population size. For this reason
we assume that each agent has a unique identifier for whose existence the
agent itself is not informed and thus cannot store it in its working
memory. When two agents are about to interact they send their ids to the
mediator. The mediator searches for that ordered pair in its database and
if it exists in some communication class it sends back to the agents the
state corresponding to that class. If this interaction is not permitted to
the agents, or, in other words, if this specific pair does not exist in
the database, the agents are informed to abord the interaction. Note that
in this manner for the first time we obtain some control on the safety of
the network and moreover the mediator provides us at any time with the
network topology. Equivalently, we can model the mediator by communication
links that are capable of keeping states from a edge state set of constant
cardinality. This alternative way of thinking of the new model has many
advantages concerning the formal modeling and the design of protocols,
since it enables us to abstract away the implementation details of the
mediator. Moreover, we extend further the new model by allowing the edges
to keep readable only costs, whose values also belong to a constant size
set. We then allow the protocol rules for pairwise interactions to modify
the corresponding edge state by also taking into account the costs. Thus,
our protocol descriptions are still independent of the population size and
do not use agent ids, i.e. they preserve scalability, uniformity and
anonymity. The proposed MediatedPopulationProtocols (MPP) can stably
compute graph properties of the communication graph. We show this for the
properties of maximal matchings (in undirected communication graphs), also
for finding the transitive closure of directed graphs and for finding all
edges of small cost. We demonstrate that our mediatedprotocols are
stronger than the classical populationprotocols. First of all we notice
an obvious fact: the classical model is a special case of the new model,
that is, the new model can compute at least the same things with the
classical one. We then present a mediated protocol that stably computes
the product of two nonnegative integers in the case where G is complete
directed and connected. Such kind of predicates are not semilinear and it
has been proven that classical populationprotocols in complete graphs can
compute precisely the semilinear predicates, thus in this manner we show
that there is at least one predicate that our model computes and which the
classical model cannot compute. To show this fact, we state and prove a
general Theorem about the composition of two mediatedpopulationprotocols, where the first one has stabilizing inputs. We also show that
all predicates stably computable in our model are (non-uniformly) in the
class NSPACE(m), where m is the number of edges of the communication
graph. Finally, we define Randomized MPP and show that, any Peano
predicate accepted by a Randomized MPP, can be verified in deterministic
polynomial time.

Abstract: This is a joint work with Ioannis Chatzigiannakis and Othon Michail.
We discuss here the population protocol model and most of its well-known extensions. The population protocol model aims to represent sensor networks consisting of tiny computational devices with sensing capabilities that follow some unpredictable and uncontrollable mobility pattern. It adopts a minimalistic approach and, thus, naturally computes a quite restricted class of predicates and exhibits almost no fault-tolerance. Most recent approaches make extra realistic and implementable assumptions, in order to gain more computational power and/or speed-up the time to convergence and/or improve fault-tolerance. In particular, the mediatedpopulation protocol model, the community protocol model, and the PALOMA model, which are all extensions of the population protocol model, are thoroughly discussed. Finally, the inherent difficulty of verifying the correctness of populationprotocols that run on complete communication graphs is revealed, but a promising algorithmic solution is presented.

Abstract: The population protocol model (PP) proposed by Angluin et al. [2] describes sensor networks consisting of passively mobile finite-state agents. The agents sense their environment and communicate in pairs to carry out some computation on the sensed values. The mediatedpopulation protocol model (MPP) [13] extended the PP model by communication links equipped with a constant size buffer. The MPP model was proved in [13] to be stronger than the PP model. However, its most important contribution is that it provides us with the ability to devise optimizing protocols, approximation protocols and protocols that decide properties of the communication graph on which they run. The latter case, suggests a simplified model, the GDM model, that was formally defined and studied in [11]. GDM is a special case of MPP that captures MPP's ability to decide properties of the communication graph. Here we survey recent advances in the area initiated by the proposal of the PP model and at the same time we provide new protocols, novel ideas and results.

Abstract: We explore the capability of a network of extremely limited
computational entities to decide properties about any of its subnetworks.
We consider that the underlying network of the interacting
entities (devices, agents, processes etc.) is modeled by a complete in-
teraction graph and we devise simple graph protocols that can decide
properties of some input subgraph provided by some preprocessing on
the network. The agents are modeled as nite-state automata and run
the same global graph protocol. Each protocol is a xed size grammar,
that is, its description is independent of the size (number of agents) of
the network. This size is not known by the agents. We propose a simple
model, the Mediated Graph Protocol (MGP) model, similar to the Population
Protocol model of Angluin et al., in which each network link is
characterized by a state taken from a nite set. This state can be used
and updated during each interaction between the corresponding agents.
We provide some interesting properties of the MGP model among which
is the ability to decide properties on stabilizing (initially changing for a
nite number of steps) input graphs and we show that the MGP model
has the ability to decide properties of disconnected input graphs. We
show that the computational power within the connected components is
fairly restricted. Finally, we give an exact characterization of the class
GMGP, of graph languages decidable by the MGP model: it is equal
to the class of graph languages decidable by a nondeterministic Turing
Machine of linear space that receives its input graph by its adjacency
matrix representation.

Abstract: We explore the capability of a network of extremely limited computational entities to decide properties about itself or any of its subnetworks. We consider that the underlying network of the interacting entities (devices, agents, processes etc.) is modeled by an interaction graph that reflects the network’s connectivity. We examine the following two cases: First, we consider the case where the input graph is the whole interaction graph and second where it is some subgraph of the interaction graph given by some preprocessing on the network. In each case, we devise simple graph protocols that can decide properties of the input graph. The computational entities, that are called agents, are modeled as finite-state automata and run the same global graph protocol. Each protocol is a fixed size grammar, that is, its description is independent of the size (number of agents) of the network. This size is not known by the agents. We present two simple models (one for each case), the Graph Decision MediatedPopulation Protocol (GDMPP) and the Mediated Graph Protocol (MGP) models, similar to the Population Protocol model of Angluin et al., where each network link (edge of the interaction graph) is characterized by a state taken from a finite set. This state can be used and updated during each interaction between the corresponding agents. We provide some example protocols and some interesting properties for the two models concerning the computability of graph languages in various settings (disconnected input graphs, stabilizing input graphs). We show that the computational power within the family of all (at least) weakly-connected input graphs is fairly restricted. Finally, we give an exact characterization of the class of graph languages decidable by the MGP model in the case of complete interaction graphs: it is equal to the class of graph languages decidable by a nondeterministic Turing Machine of linear space that receives its input graph by its adjacency matrix representation.