Resilience in Collaborative Optimization: Redundant and Independent Cost Functions [article]

Nirupam Gupta, Nitin H. Vaidya
<span title="2020-03-31">2020</span> <i > arXiv </i> &nbsp; <span class="release-stage" >pre-print</span>
This report considers the problem of Byzantine fault-tolerance in multi-agent collaborative optimization. In this problem, each agent has a local cost function. The goal of a collaborative optimization algorithm is to compute a minimum of the aggregate of the agents' cost functions. We consider the case when a certain number of agents may be Byzantine faulty. Such faulty agents may not follow a prescribed algorithm, and they may send arbitrary or incorrect information regarding their local cost
more &raquo; ... functions. A reasonable goal in presence of such faulty agents is to minimize the aggregate cost of the non-faulty agents. In this report, we show that this goal can be achieved if and only if the cost functions of the non-faulty agents have a minimal redundancy property. We present different algorithms that achieve such tolerance against faulty agents, and demonstrate a trade-off between the complexity of an algorithm and the properties of the agents' cost functions. Further, we also consider the case when the cost functions are independent or do not satisfy the minimal redundancy property. In that case, we quantify the tolerance against faulty agents by introducing a metric called weak resilience. We present an algorithm that attains weak resilience when the faulty agents are in the minority and the cost functions are non-negative.
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