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Volume 16 (2020) Article 1 pp. 1-23
Distributed Corruption Detection in Networks
Received: November 29, 2015
Revised: April 18, 2019, March 9, 2020
Published: March 30, 2020
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Keywords: distributed computing, expander graphs, PMC model, graph separators, network testing
ACM Classification: C.2.m, G.2.2
AMS Classification: 05C90, 68R10, 94C12

Abstract: [Plain Text Version]

We consider the problem of distributed corruption detection in networks. In this model each node of a directed graph is either truthful or corrupt. Each node reports the type (truthful or corrupt) of each of its outneighbors. If it is truthful, it reports the truth, whereas if it is corrupt, it reports adversarially. This model, first considered by Preparata, Metze and Chien in 1967, motivated by the desire to identify the faulty components of a digital system by having the other components checking them, became known as the PMC model. The main known results for this model characterize networks in which all corrupt (that is, faulty) nodes can be identified, when there is a known upper bound on their number. We are interested in networks in which a large fraction of the nodes can be classified. It is known that in the PMC model, in order to identify all corrupt nodes when their number is $t$, all in-degrees have to be at least $t$. In contrast, we show that in $d$ regular-graphs with strong expansion properties, a $1-O(1/d)$ fraction of the corrupt nodes, and a $1-O(1/d)$ fraction of the truthful nodes can be identified, whenever there is a majority of truthful nodes. We also observe that if the graph is very far from being a good expander, namely, if the deletion of a small set of nodes splits the graph into small components, then no corruption detection is possible even if most of the nodes are truthful. Finally we discuss the algorithmic aspects and the computational hardness of the problem.