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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

On an improved algorithm for decentralized extrema finding in circular configurations of processors

This note presents a more efficient algorithm for finding the largest element in a circular list of processors when messages can be passed in either direction. It passes 2N*floor(lg N) + 3N messages in the worst case, compared to Chang and Roberts' N(N + 1)/2 and Hirschberg and Sinclair's 8N + 8*ceiling(N lg N) messages. The technique is a selective elimination of possible processes, which then merely relay future messages between the remaining contenders.

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