A Probabilistic Analysis of a Leader Election Protocol for Virtual Traffic Lights
Paper in proceedings, 2017
Vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems support diverse cooperative applications such as virtual traffic lights. However, in order to harness the potential benefits of those applications, one must address the challenges faced by distributed algorithms in environments based on unreliable wireless communications. In this paper we address the problem of leader election among the nodes of a cooperative system, under the assumption that the network is unreliable and any number of messages may be lost, and that the number of participating nodes is initially unknown. It is known from the literature that a deterministic solution to this problem does not exist. Nevertheless, one may devise probabilistic solutions that provide arbitrarily high probability of success. In the proposed solution, nodes are enhanced with a local oracle that provides minimal information on the state of the system. Such local oracles, even if unreliable, are shown to increase the probability of success in reaching consensus on the result of the leader election.