Finding the K Largest Metrics in a Noisy Broadcast Network

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Executive Summary

How to perform reliable computation among distributed nodes through noisy communication is a critical issue for emerging wireless networks. In particular, noisy channels impose challenges to traditional designs of communication protocols. If nodes still follow the noiseless-channel protocols, they will lose consensus on execution due to discrepancy in individual interpretations of the transmission history, which almost surely leads to a failure. While in certain applications such as continuous field monitoring, the classical block coding approach of information theory can be pursued, in many scenarios it is not directly applicable, either due to the fact that each node holds only finite bits, or the dynamic nature of interactive communication.

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