Brooks–Iyengar algorithm

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The Brooks–Iyengar algorithm or Brooks–Iyengar hybrid algorithm [1] is a distributed algorithm, that improves both the precision and accuracy of the measurements taken by a distributed sensor network, even in the presence of faulty sensors.[2] The sensor network does this by exchanging the measured value and accuracy value at every node with every other node. And it computes the accuracy range and a measured value for the whole network from all of the values collected. Even if some of the data from some of the sensors is faulty, the sensor network will not malfunction.


The Brooks–Iyengar hybrid algorithm for distributed control in the presence of noisy data combines Byzantine agreement with sensor fusion. It bridges the gap between sensor fusion and Byzantine fault tolerance.[3] This seminal algorithm unified these disparate fields for the first time. Essentially, it combines Dolev’s[4] algorithm for approximate agreement with Mahaney and Schneider’s fast convergence algorithm (FCA). The algorithm assumes N processing elements (PEs), t of which are faulty and can behave maliciously. It takes as input either real values with inherent inaccuracy or noise (which can be unknown), or a real value with apriori defined uncertainty, or an interval. The output of the algorithm is a real value with an explicitly specified accuracy. The algorithm runs in O(NlogN) where N is the number of PEs: see Big O notation. It is possible to modify this algorithm to correspond to Crusader’s Convergence Algorithm (CCA),[5] however, the bandwidth requirement will also increase. The algorithm has applications in distributed control, software reliability, High-performance computing, etc.[6]


The Brooks–Iyengar algorithm is executed in every sensor node of a distributed sensor network. Each sensor exchanges their measured value and accuracy value with all other sensors in the network. The accuracy range the algorithm finds is the lowest lower bound and the highest upper bound returned from all the sensors. The "fused" measurement is a weighted average of the midpoints of the regions found.[7]

STEP 1: Each processing element receives the values from all other processing elements and forms a set V.

STEP 2: Perform the optimal region algorithm on V and returns a set A consisting of the ranges of values where at least N − T processing elements intersect.

STEP 3: Output the range defined by the lowest lower bound and the largest upper bound in A. These are the accuracy bounds of the answer.

STEP 4: The answer is the weighted average of the midpoints of the ranges in A where each midpoint is weighted by the number of sensors whose readings intersect its range.

Algorithm characteristics[edit]

1. Faulty PEs tolerated < N/3

2. Maximum faulty PEs < 2N/3

3. Complexity = O(N log N)

4. Order of network bandwidth = O(N)

5. Convergence = 2t/N

6. Accuracy = limited by input

7. Iterates for precision = often

8. Precision over accuracy = no

9. Accuracy over precision = no

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richard R. Brooks and S. Sithrama Iyengar (June 1996). "Robust Distributed Computing and Sensing Algorithm". Computer (IEEE) 29 (6): pp. 53–60. doi:10.1109/2.507632. ISSN 0018-9162. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  2. ^ Mohammad Ilyas, Imad Mahgoub (July 28, 2004). Handbook of sensor networks: compact wireless and wired sensing systems (PDF). CRC Press. p. 864. ISBN 978-0-8493-1968-6. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  3. ^ D. Dolev (Jan 1982). "The Byzantine Generals Strike Again" (PDF). J. Algorithms 3 (1): pp. 14–30. doi:10.1016/0196-6774(82)90004-9. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  4. ^ L. Lamport, R. Shostak, M. Pease (July 1982). "The Byzantine Generals Problem". Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (ACM) 4 (3): pp. 382–401. doi:10.1145/357172.357176. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  5. ^ D. Dolev et al. (July 1986). "Reaching Approximate Agreement in the Presence of Faults" (PDF). Journal of the ACM (JACM) (ACM Press) 33 (3): pp. 499–516. doi:10.1145/5925.5931. ISSN 0004-5411. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  6. ^ S. Mahaney and F. Schneider (1985). "Inexact Agreement: Accuracy, Precision, and Graceful Degradation". Proc. Fourth ACM Symp. Principles of Distributed Computing (ACM Press, New York,): pp. 237–249. CiteSeerX: 
  7. ^ Sartaj Sahni and Xiaochun Xu (September 7, 2004). "Algorithms For Wireless Sensor Networks" (PDF). University of Florida, Gainesville. Retrieved 2010-03-23.