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Algorithmic Mechanisms for Reliable Master-Worker Internet-Based Computing

Christoforou, Evgenia and Fernández Anta, Antonio and Georgiou, Chryssis and Mosteiro, Miguel A. (2014) Algorithmic Mechanisms for Reliable Master-Worker Internet-Based Computing. [Journal Articles]

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We consider Internet-based master-worker computations, where a master processor assigns, across the Internet, a computational task to a set of untrusted worker processors, and collects their responses. Examples of such computations are the “@home” projects such as SETI. In this work various worker behaviors are considered. Altruistic workers always return the correct result of the task, malicious workers always return an incorrect result, and rational workers act based on their self interest. In a massive computation platform, such as the Internet, it is expected that all three type of workers coexist. Therefore, in this work we study Internet-based master-worker computations in the presence of malicious, altruistic, and rational workers. A stochastic distribution of the workers over the three types is assumed. In addition, we consider the possibility that the communication between the master and the workers is not reliable, and that workers could be unavailable. Considering all the three types of workers renders a combination of game-theoretic and classical distributed computing approaches to the design of mechanisms for reliable Internet-based computing. Indeed, in this work we design and analyze two algorithmic mechanisms to provide appropriate incentives to rational workers to act correctly, despite the malicious workers’ actions and the unreliability of the communication. Only when necessary, the incentives are used to force the rational players to a certain equilibrium (which forces the workers to be truthful) that overcomes the attempt of the malicious workers to deceive the master. Finally, the mechanisms are analyzed in two realistic Internet-based master-worker settings, a SETI-like one and a contractor-based one, such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. We also present plots that illustrate the tradeoffs between reliability and cost, under different system parameters.

Item Type: Journal Articles
Additional Information: ISSN:0018-9340
Uncontrolled Keywords: Algorithmic Mechanism design, Internet-based Computing, Reliability and Fault-tolerance, Untrusted workers, Unreliable communication
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Electronics and Computer Science
Depositing User: Antonio Fernandez
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2012 10:36
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2014 13:58

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