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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 4 (2008), Issue 3, Pages 223-246
Original Article

A Flexible Stochastic Automaton-Based Algorithm for Network Self-Partitioning

1Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA
2Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article proposes a flexible and distributed stochastic automaton-based network partitioning algorithm that is capable of finding the optimal k-way partition with respect to a broad range of cost functions, and given various constraints, in directed and weighted graphs. Specifically, we motivate the distributed partitioning (self-partitioning) problem, introduce the stochastic automaton-based partitioning algorithm, and show that the algorithm finds the optimal partition with probability 1 for a large class of partitioning tasks. Also, a discussion of why the algorithm can be expected to find good partitions quickly is included, and its performance is further illustrated through examples. Finally, applications to mobile/sensor classification in ad hoc networks, fault-isolation in electric power systems, and control of autonomous vehicle teams are pursued in detail.