Consensus Propagation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 18 (NIPS 2005)

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Benjamin Roy, Ciamac C. Moallemi


We propose consensus propagation, an asynchronous distributed protocol for averaging numbers across a network. We establish convergence, characterize the convergence rate for regular graphs, and demonstrate that the protocol exhibits better scaling properties than pairwise averaging, an alternative that has received much recent attention. Consensus propagation can be viewed as a special case of belief propagation, and our results contribute to the belief propagation literature. In particular, beyond singly-connected graphs, there are very few classes of relevant problems for which belief propagation is known to converge.