Leveraging Diversity for Achieving Resilient Consensus in Sparse Networks

07/24/2019 ∙ by Faiq Ghawash, et al. ∙ 0

A networked system can be made resilient against adversaries and attacks if the underlying network graph is structurally robust. For instance, to achieve distributed consensus in the presence of adversaries, the underlying network graph needs to satisfy certain robustness conditions. A typical approach to making networks structurally robust is to strategically add extra links between nodes, which might be prohibitively expensive. In this paper, we propose an alternative way of improving network's robustness, that is by considering heterogeneity of nodes. Nodes in a network can be of different types and can have multiple variants. As a result, different nodes can have disjoint sets of vulnerabilities, which means that an attacker can only compromise a particular type of nodes by exploiting a particular vulnerability. We show that, by such a diversification of nodes, attacker's ability to change the underlying network structure is significantly reduced. Consequently, even a sparse network with heterogeneous nodes can exhibit the properties of a structurally robust network. Using these ideas, we propose a distributed control policy that utilizes heterogeneity in the network to achieve resilient consensus in adversarial environment. We extend the notion of (r,s)-robustness to incorporate the diversity of nodes and provide necessary and sufficient conditions to guarantee resilient distributed consensus in heterogeneous networks. Finally we study the properties and construction of robust graphs with heterogeneous nodes.

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