Deterministic population protocols for exact majority and plurality

Leszek Gasieniec, David Hamilton, Russell Martin, Paul G. Spirakis, Grzegorz Stachowiak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


In this paper we study space-efficient deterministic population protocols for several variants of the majority problem including plurality consensus. We focus on space efficient majority protocols in populations with an arbitrary number of colours C represented by k-bit labels, where k = ⌈log C⌉. In particular, we present asymptotically space-optimal (with respect to the adopted k-bit representation of colours) protocols for (1) the absolute majority problem, i.e., a protocol which decides whether a single colour dominates all other colours considered together, and (2) the relative majority problem, also known in the literature as plurality consensus, in which colours declare their volume superiority versus other individual colours. The new population protocols proposed in this paper rely on a dynamic formulation of the majority problem in which the colours originally present in the population can be changed by an external force during the communication process. The considered dynamic formulation is based on the concepts studied in [4] and [24] about stabilizing inputs and composition of population protocols. Also, the protocols presented in this paper use a composition of some known protocols for static and dynamic majority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication20th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems, OPODIS 2016
EditorsErnesto Jimenez, Panagiota Fatourou, Fernando Pedone
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959770316
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event20th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems, OPODIS 2016 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: Dec 13 2016Dec 16 2016

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Conference20th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems, OPODIS 2016


  • Deterministic population protocols
  • Majority
  • Plurality consenus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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