Constructing self-stabilizing oscillators in population protocols

Colin Cooper, Anissa Lamani, Giovanni Viglietta, Masafumi Yamashita, Yukiko Yamauchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Population protocols (PPs) are a model of passive distributed systems in which a collection of finite-state mobile agents interact with each other to accomplish a common task. Unlike other works, which investigate their computation power, this paper throws light on an aspect of PPs as a model of chemical reactions. Motivated by the wellknown BZ reaction that provides an autonomous chemical oscillator, we address the problem of autonomously generating an oscillatory execution from any initial configuration (i.e., in a self-stabilizing manner). For deterministic PPs, we show that the self-stabilizing leader election (SSLE) and the self-stabilizing oscillator problem (SS-OSC) are equivalent, in the sense that an SS-OSC protocol is constructible from a given SS-LE protocol and vice versa, which unfortunately implies that (1) resorting to a leader is inevitable (although we seek a decentralized solution) and (2) n states are necessary to create an oscillation of amplitude n, where n is the number of agents (although we seek a memory-efficient solution). Aiming at reducing the space complexity, we present and analyze some randomized oscillatory PPs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStabilization, Safety and Security of Distributed Systems - 17th International Symposium, SSS 2015, Proceedings
EditorsAndrzej Pelc, Alexander A. Schwarzmann
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319217406
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event17th International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety and Security of Distributed Systems, SSS 2015 - Edmonton, Canada
Duration: Aug 18 2015Aug 21 2015

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other17th International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety and Security of Distributed Systems, SSS 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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