Local Multicoloring Algorithms: Computing a Nearly-Optimal TDMA Schedule in Constant Time

The described multicoloring problem has direct applications in the context of wireless ad hoc and sensor networks. In order to coordinate the access to the shared wireless medium, the nodes of such a network need to employ some medium access control (MAC) protocol. Typical MAC protocols control the access to the shared channel by time (TDMA), frequency (FDMA), or code division multiple access (CDMA) schemes. Many channel access schemes assign a fixed set of time slots, frequencies, or (orthogonal) codes to the nodes of a network such that nodes that interfere with each other receive disjoint sets of time slots, frequencies, or code sets. Finding a valid assignment of time slots, frequencies, or codes hence directly corresponds to computing a multicoloring of a graph $G$. The scarcity of bandwidth, energy, and computing resources in ad hoc and sensor networks, as well as the often highly dynamic nature of these networks require that the multicoloring can be computed based on as little and as local information as possible.

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