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Network Flows for Function Computation

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3 Author(s)
Shah, V. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Indian Inst. of Technol. Bombay, Mumbai, India ; Dey, B.K. ; Manjunath, D.

We consider in-network computation of an arbitrary function over an arbitrary communication network. A network with capacity constraints on the links is given. Some nodes in the network generate data, e.g., like sensor nodes in a sensor network. An arbitrary function of this distributed data is to be obtained at a terminal node. The structure of the function is described by a given computation schema, which in turn is represented by a directed tree. We design computing and communicating schemes to obtain the function at the terminal at the maximum rate. For this, we formulate linear programs to determine network flows that maximize the computation rate. We then develop a fast combinatorial primal-dual algorithm to obtain near-optimal solutions to these linear programs. As a subroutine for this, we develop an algorithm for finding the minimum cost embedding of a tree in a network with any given set of link costs. We then briefly describe extensions of our techniques to the cases of multiple terminals wanting different functions, multiple computation schemas for a function, computation with a given desired precision, and to networks with energy constraints at nodes.

Published in:

Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

April 2013

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