# Othon MichailUniversity of Liverpool | UoL · Department of Computer Science

Othon Michail

PhD

## About

82

Publications

4,505

Reads

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1,369

Citations

Introduction

Additional affiliations

December 2012 - February 2016

Education

September 2007 - September 2010

## Publications

Publications (82)

Building on two recent models of [Almalki and Michail, 2022] and [Gupta et al., 2023], we explore the constructive power of a set of geometric growth processes. The studied processes, by applying a sequence of centralized, parallel, and linear-strength growth operations, can construct shapes from smaller shapes or from a singleton exponentially fas...

We consider geometric collision-detection problems for modular reconfigurable robots. Assuming the nodes (modules) are connected squares on a grid, we investigate the complexity of deciding whether collisions may occur, or can be avoided, if a set of expansion and contraction operations is executed. We study both discrete- and continuous-time model...

We consider a discrete system of n simple indistinguishable devices, called agents, forming a connected shape SI on a two-dimensional square grid. Agents are equipped with a linear-strength mechanism, called a line move, by which an agent can push a whole line of consecutive agents in one of the four cardinal directions in a single time-step. We st...

We study a model of programmable matter systems consisting of n devices lying on a 2-dimensional square grid which are able to perform the minimal mechanical operation of rotating around each other. The goal is to transform an initial shape A into a target shape B. We investigate the class of shapes which can be constructed in such a scenario under...

In this work, we investigate novel algorithmic growth processes. In particular, we propose three growth operations, full doubling, RC doubling and doubling, and explore the algorithmic and structural properties of their resulting processes under a geometric setting. In terms of modeling, our system runs on a 2-dimensional grid and operates in discr...

We study a model of programmable matter systems consisting of $n$ devices lying on a 2-dimensional square grid, which are able to perform the minimal mechanical operation of rotating around each other. The goal is to transform an initial shape A into a target shape B. We are interested in characterising the class of shapes which can be transformed...

We study here systems of distributed entities that can actively modify their communication network. This gives rise to distributed algorithms that apart from communication can also exploit network reconfiguration to carry out a given task. Also, the distributed task itself may now require a global reconfiguration from a given initial network $$G_s$...

We examine the problem of gathering [Formula: see text] agents (or multi-agent rendezvous) in dynamic graphs which may change in every round. We consider a variant of the [Formula: see text]-interval connectivity model [9] in which all instances (snapshots) are always connected spanning subgraphs of an underlying graph, not necessarily a clique. Th...

We consider a discrete system of n devices lying on a 2-dimensional square grid and forming an initial connected shape SI. Each device is equipped with a linear-strength mechanism which enables it to move a whole line of consecutive devices in a single time-step, called a line move. We study the problem of transforming SI into a given connected tar...

We study a model of programmable matter systems consisting of n devices lying on a 2-dimensional square grid which are able to perform the minimal mechanical operation of rotating around each other. The goal is to transform an initial shape A into a target shape B. We investigate the class of shapes which can be constructed in such a scenario under...

We consider a discrete system of n simple indistinguishable devices, called agents, forming a connected shape SI on a two-dimensional square grid. Agents are equipped with a linear-strength mechanism, called a line move, by which an agent can push a whole line of consecutive agents in one of the four directions in a single time-step. We study the p...

We study a model of programmable matter systems consisting of $n$ devices lying on a 2-dimensional square grid which are able to perform the minimal mechanical operation of rotating around each other. The goal is to transform an initial shape A into a target shape B. We investigate the class of shapes which can be constructed in such a scenario und...

We consider a discrete system of $n$ simple indistinguishable devices, called \emph{agents}, forming a \emph{connected} shape $S_I$ on a two-dimensional square grid. Agents are equipped with a linear-strength mechanism, called a \emph{line move}, by which an agent can push a whole line of consecutive agents in one of the four directions in a single...

Motivated by biological processes, we introduce here the model of growing graphs, a new model of highly dynamic networks. Such networks have as nodes entities that can self-replicate and thus can expand the size of the network. This gives rise to the problem of creating a target network $G$ starting from a single entity (node). To properly model th...

We study the class of networks, which can be created in polylogarithmic parallel time by network constructors: groups of anonymous agents that interact randomly under a uniform random scheduler with the ability to form connections between each other. Starting from an empty network, the goal is to construct a stable network that belongs to a given f...

We study the problems of leader election and population size counting for population protocols: networks of finite-state anonymous agents that interact randomly under a uniform random scheduler. We provide simple protocols for approximate counting of the size of the population and for leader election. We show a protocol for leader election that ter...

We consider a discrete system of n devices lying on a 2-dimensional square grid and forming an initial connected shape . Each device is equipped with a linear-strength mechanism which enables it to move a whole line of consecutive devices in a single time-step. We study the problem of transforming into a given connected target shape of the same num...

We examine the problem of gathering $k \geq 2$ agents (or multi-agent rendezvous) in dynamic graphs which may change in every synchronous round but remain always connected ($1$-interval connectivity) [KLO10]. The agents are identical and without explicit communication capabilities, and are initially positioned at different nodes of the graph. The p...

We study the class of networks which can be created in polylogarithmic parallel time by network constructors: groups of anonymous agents that interact randomly under a uniform random scheduler with the ability to form connections between each other. Starting from an empty network, the goal is to construct a stable network which belongs to a given f...

We consider a discrete system of $n$ devices lying on a 2-dimensional square grid and forming an initial connected shape $S_I$. Each device is equipped with a linear-strength mechanism which enables it to move a whole line of consecutive devices in a single time-step. We study the problem of transforming $S_I$ into a given connected target shape $S...

In this work, we study a discrete system of entities residing on a two-dimensional square grid. Each entity is modelled as a node occupying a distinct cell of the grid. The set of all n nodes forms initially a connected shape A. Entities are equipped with a linear-strength pushing mechanism that can push a whole line of entities in parallel in a si...

In this paper, we study systems of distributed entities that can actively modify their communication network. This gives rise to distributed algorithms that apart from communication can also exploit network reconfiguration in order to carry out a given task. At the same time, the distributed task itself may now require global reconfiguration from a...

In this work, we consider adversarial crash faults of nodes in the network constructors model [Michail and Spirakis, 2016]. We first show that, without further assumptions, the class of graph languages that can be (stably) constructed under crash faults is non-empty but small. When there is a finite upper bound f on the number of faults, we show th...

In this paper, we study a discrete system of entities residing on a two-dimensional square grid. Each entity is modelled as a node occupying a distinct cell of the grid. The set of all n nodes forms initially a connected shape A. Entities are equipped with a linear-strength pushing mechanism that can push a whole line of entities, from 1 to n, in p...

In this paper, we study a discrete system of entities residing on a two-dimensional square grid. Each entity is modelled as a node occupying a distinct cell of the grid. The set of all $n$ nodes forms initially a connected shape $A$. Entities are equipped with a linear-strength pushing mechanism that can push a whole line of entities, from 1 to $n$...

In this work we consider temporal networks, i.e. networks defined by a labeling(Formula presented.) assigning to each edge of an underlying graphG a set of discrete time-labels. The labels of an edge, which are natural numbers, indicate the discrete time moments at which the edge is available. We focus on path problems of temporal networks. In part...

In this work, we consider adversarial crash faults of nodes in the network constructors model $[$Michail and Spirakis, 2016$]$. We first show that, without further assumptions, the class of graph languages that can be (stably) constructed under crash faults is non-empty but small. In particular, if an unbounded number of crash faults may occur, we...

In this work, we undertake the study of the following basic question: "How much parallelism does a distributed task permit?" Our definition of parallelism (or symmetry) here is not in terms of speed, but in terms of identical roles that processes have at the same time in the execution. For example, we may ask: "Can a given task be solved by a proto...

In this work, we consider a solution of automata (or nodes) that move passively in a well-mixed solution without being capable of controlling their movement. Nodes can cooperate by interacting in pairs and every such interaction may result in an update of their local states. Additionally, the nodes may also choose to connect to each other in order...

Population protocols [2] are networks that consist of very weak computational entities (also called nodes or agents), regarding their individual capabilities and it has been shown that are able to perform complex computational tasks when they work collectively. Leader Election is the process of designating a single agent as the coordinator of some...

We study the problems of leader election and population size counting for population protocols: networks of finite-state anonymous agents that interact randomly under a uniform random scheduler. We show a protocol for leader election that terminates in $O(\log_m(n) \cdot \log_2 n)$ parallel time, where $m$ is a parameter, using $O(\max\{m,\log n\})...

We study population protocols: networks of anonymous agents that interact under a scheduler that picks pairs of agents uniformly at random. The _size counting problem_ is that of calculating the exact number $n$ of agents in the population, assuming no leader (each agent starts in the same state). We give the first protocol that solves this problem...

The challenge of computing in a highly dynamic environment.

The Population Protocol model is a distributed model that concerns systems of very weak computational entities that cannot control the way they interact. The model of Network Constructors is a variant of Population Protocols capable of (algorithmically) constructing abstract networks. Both models are characterized by a fundamental inability to term...

In this work, we study theoretical models of \emph{programmable matter} systems. The systems under consideration consist of spherical modules, kept together by magnetic forces and able to perform two minimal mechanical operations (or movements): \emph{rotate} around a neighbor and \emph{slide} over a line. In terms of modeling, there are $n$ nodes...

We discuss recent theoretical models for programmable matter operating in a dynamic environment. In the basic Network Constructors model, all devices are finite automata, begin from the same initial state, execute the same protocol, and can only interact in pairs. The interactions are scheduled by a fair (or uniform random) scheduler, in the spirit...

In this work, we study the following basic question: “How much parallelism does a distributed task permit?” Our definition of parallelism (or symmetry) here is not in terms of speed, but in terms of identical roles that processes have at the same time in the execution. We initiate this study in population protocols, a very simple model that not onl...

In this work, we study protocols so that populations of distributed processes can construct networks. In order to highlight the basic principles of distributed network construction, we keep the model minimal in all respects. In particular, we assume finite-state processes that all begin from the same initial state and all execute the same protocol....

A preliminary version of this paper has appeared in [52]. Atemporal graphis, informally speaking, a graph that changes with time. When time is discrete and only the relationships between the participating entities may change and not the entities themselves, a temporal graph may be viewed as a sequence G1, G2…, Gl of static graphs over the same (sta...

The Population Protocol model is a distributed model that concerns systems of
very weak computational entities that cannot control the way they interact. The
model of Network Constructors is a variant of Population Protocols capable of
(algorithmically) constructing abstract networks. Both models are characterized
by a fundamental inability to term...

Paul Spirakis is an eminent, talented, and influential researcher that contributed significantly to computer science. This article is a modest attempt of a biographical sketch of Paul, which we drafted with extreme love and honor.

Network Constructors are an extension of the standard population protocol
model in which finite-state agents interact in pairs under the control of an
adversary scheduler. In this work we present NETCS, a simulator designed to
evaluate the performance of various network constructors and population
protocols under different schedulers and network co...

We consider a solution of automata similar to Population Protocols and
Network Constructors. The automata (or nodes) move passively in a well-mixed
solution and can cooperate by interacting in pairs. Every such interaction may
result in an update of the local states of the nodes. Additionally, the nodes
may also choose to connect to each other in o...

A \emph{temporal graph} is, informally speaking, a graph that changes with
time. When time is discrete and only the relationships between the
participating entities may change and not the entities themselves, a temporal
graph may be viewed as a sequence $G_1,G_2\ldots,G_l$ of static graphs over the
same (static) set of nodes $V$. Though static grap...

In this work, we introduce the notion of time to some well-known combinatorial optimization problems. In particular, we study problems defined on temporal graphs. A temporal graph D=(V,A) may be viewed as a time-sequence G1,G2,...,Gl of static graphs over the same (static) set of nodes V. Each Gt=D(t)=(V,A(t)) is called the instance of D at time t...

In this work, we introduce the notion of time to some well-known combinatorial optimization problems. In particular, we study problems defined on temporal graphs. A temporal graph D = (V,A) may be viewed as a time-sequence G
1,G
2…,G
l
of static graphs over the same (static) set of nodes V. Each G
t
= D(t) = (V,A(t)) is called the instance of D at...

In this work, we study protocols so that populations of distributed processes can construct networks. In order to highlight the basic principles of distributed network construction we keep the model minimal in all respects. In particular, we assume finite-state processes that all begin from the same initial state and all execute the same protocol....

In this work, we study protocols so that populations of distributed processes can construct networks. In order to highlight the basic principles of distributed network construction, we keep the model minimal in all respects. In particular, we assume finite-state processes that all begin from the same initial state and all execute the same protocol....

In this work we consider temporal networks, i.e. networks defined by a labeling
λ assigning to each edge of an underlying graph
G a set of discrete time-labels. The labels of an edge, which are natural numbers, indicate the discrete time moments at which the edge is available. We focus on path problems of temporal networks. In particular, we consid...

We extend the population protocol model with a cover-time service that informs a walking state every time it covers the whole network. This is simply a known upper bound on the cover time of a random walk. This allows us to introduce termination into population protocols, a capability that is crucial for any distributed system. By reduction to an o...

In this work, we study the fundamental naming and counting problems (and some
variations) in networks that are anonymous, unknown, and possibly dynamic. In
counting, nodes must determine the size of the network n and in naming they
must end up with unique identities. By anonymous we mean that all nodes begin
from identical states apart possibly fro...

In this work, we study the propagation of influence and computation in
dynamic distributed systems. We focus on broadcasting models under a worst-case
dynamicity assumption which have received much attention recently. We drop for
the first time in worst-case dynamic networks the common instantaneous
connectivity assumption and require a minimal tem...

We explore the capability of a network of extremely limited computational entities to decide properties about any of its subnetworks. We consider that the underlying network of the interacting entities (devices, agents, processes etc.) is modeled by a complete interaction graph and we devise simple graph protocols that can decide properties of some...

Wireless sensor networks are about to be part of everyday life. Homes and workplaces capable of self-controlling and adapting air-conditioning for different temperature and humidity levels, sleepless forests ready to detect and react in case of a fire, vehicles able to avoid sudden obstacles or possibly able to self-organize routes to avoid congest...

We survey here some recent computational models for networks of tiny artifacts. In particular, we focus on networks consisting of artifacts with sensing capabilities. We first imagine the artifacts moving passively, that is, being mobile but unable to control their own movement. This leads us to the population protocol model of Angluin et al. (2004...

In this chapter, we assume that each agent is aTM. In particular, we discuss another theoretical model for passively mobile sensor networks, called the Passively mobile Machines (PM) model. To be more precise, it is a model of Passively mobile Machines (that we keep calling agents) with sensing capabilities, equipped with two-way communication. We...

We discuss in this chapter an extension of the population protocol model, which seems to be of its own theoretical interest. The main additional feature is that the agents are allowed to store pairwise information into some global storage, like, e.g., a base station, called the mediator, that provides a small fixed slot to each pair of agents. Befo...

This chapter is devoted to proving the following exact characterization of the computational power of population protocols on complete interaction graphs.

We propose a new theoretical model for passively mobile Wireless Sensor Networks, called PM, standing for Passively mobile Machines. The main modification w.r.t. the Population Protocol model is that agents now, instead of being automata, are Turing Machines. We provide general definitions for unbounded memories, but we are mainly interested in com...

In this work, we study the Population Protocol model of Angluin et al. from the perspective of protocol verification. In particular, we are interested in algorithmically solving the problem of
determining whether a given population protocol conforms to its specifications. Since this is the first work on verification
of population protocols, we rede...

We work on an extension of the Population Protocol model of Angluin et al. that allows edges of the communication graph, G, to have states that belong to a constant size set. In this extension, the so called Mediated Population Protocol model (MPP), both uniformity and anonymity are preserved. We study here a simplified version of MPP in order to c...

This work focuses on the computational power of the Mediated Population Protocol model on complete communication graphs and initially identical edges (SMPP). In particular, we investigate the class MPS of all predicates that are stably computable by the SMPP model. It is already known that MPS is in the symmetric subclass of NSPACE(n
2). Here we pr...

We propose a new theoretical model for passively mobile Wireless Sensor Networks. We call it the PALOMA model, standing for PAssively mobile LOgarithmic space MAchines. The main modification w.r.t. the Population Protocol model is that agents now, instead of being automata, are Turing Machines whose memory is logarithmic in the population size n. N...

We propose a novel, generic definition of probabilistic sched-ulers for population protocols. We design two new schedulers, the State Scheduler and the Transition Function Scheduler. Both possess the sig-nificant capability of being protocol-aware, i.e. they can assign transition probabilities based on information concerning the underlying protocol...

We propose a novel, generic definition of probabilistic schedulers for population protocols. We then identify the consistent probabilistic schedulers, and prove that any consistent scheduler that assigns a non-zero probability to any transition i→j, where i and j are configurations satisfying i ≠ j, is fair with probability 1. This is a new theoret...

We work on an extension of the Population Protocol model of Angluin et al. [1] that allows edges of the communication graph,
G, to have states that belong to a constant size set. In this extension, the so called Mediated Population Protocol model (MPP) [2,3], both uniformity and anonymity are preserved. We here study a simplified version of MPP, th...

The population protocol model (PP) proposed by Angluin et al. [2] describes sensor networks consisting of passively mobile finite-state agents. The agents
sense their environment and communicate in pairs to carry out some computation on the sensed values. The mediated population protocol model (MPP) [13] extended the PP model by communication links...

We extend here the Population Protocol model of Angluin et al. [2] in order to model more powerful networks of very small
resource-limited artefacts (agents) that are possibly mobile. The main feature of our extended model is to allow edges of
the communication graph, G, to have states that belong to a constant size set. We also allow edges to have...

In this paper, we present an improved approach integrating rules, neural networks and cases, compared to a previous one. The
main approach integrates neurules and cases. Neurules are a kind of integrated rules that combine a symbolic (production rules)
and a connectionist (adaline unit) representation. Each neurule is represented as an adaline unit...

In this paper, we present an improved approach integrating rules, neural networks and cases, compared to a previous one. The main approach integrates neurules and cases. Neurules are a kind of integrated rules that combine a symbolic (production rules) and a connectionist (adaline unit) representation. Each neurule is represented as an adaline unit...