Skip to Main Content
The reliability of a distributed system depends on the reliabilities of its communication links and computing elements, as well as on the distribution of its resources, such as programs and data files. A useful measure of reliability in distributed systems is the terminal reliability between a pair of nodes which is the probability that at least one communication path exists between these nodes. An interesting optimization problem is that of maximizing the terminal reliability between a pair of computing elements under a given budget constraint. Analytical techniques to solve this problem are applicable only to special forms of reliability expressions. In this paper, three iterative algorithms for terminal reliability maximization are presented. The first two algorithms require the computation of terminal reliability expressions, and are therefore efficient for only small networks. The third algorithm, which is developed for large distributed systems, does not require the computation of terminal reliability expressions; this algorithm maximizes approximate objective functions and gives accurate results. Several examples are presented to illustrate the approximate optimization algorithm and an estimation of the error involved is also given.