Unbounded Contention Resolution in Multiple-Access Channels

Antonio Fernandez Anta, Miguel A. Mosteiro and Jorge R. Muñoz

Abstract: A frequent problem in settings where a unique resource must be shared among users is how to resolve the contention that arises when all of them must use it, but the resource allows only for one user each time. The application of effcient solutions for this problem spans a myriad of settings such as radio communication networks or databases. For the case where the number of users is unknown, recent work has yielded fruitful results for local area networks and radio networks, although either a (possibly loose) upper bound on the number of users needs to be known, or the solution is suboptimal, or it is only implicit or embedded in other problems, with bounds proved only asymptotically. In this paper, under the assumption that collision detection or information on the number of contenders is not available, we present a novel protocol for contention resolution in radio networks, and we recreate a protocol previously used for other problems, tailoring the constants for our needs. In contrast with previous work, both protocols are proved to be optimal up to a small constant factor and with high probability for big enough number of contenders.

Guest: Antonio Fernandez Anta
Host: Yvonne-Anne Pignolet