The Gene Brice Colloquium Series presents
Abbas El Gamal
Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering
Director, Information Systems Laboratory
The Communication Cost of Distributed Computing
Thursday, April 9, 2009Lecture
Large information processing systems, such as the Internet, sensor and
ad hoc networks, sever farms, networked agents, financial markets, and
living organisms, comprise distributed information sources, such as
people, computers, sensors, multi-media devices, and storage devices,
connected by a communication network. In most applications, the goal of
communication is not to exchange the data but to make a decision,
compute a function, coordinate an action, or perform a task based on
the information generated by the sources.
How much communication is needed to perform such a task over a network?
This question has been studied under different models and assumptions
in computer science, control, and information theory. Dr. El Gamal
will give examples of the work in these areas and describe a new
information theoretic formulation of the distributed consensus problem.
The results obtained under this model shed some light on the
fundamental tradeoff between communication cost and accuracy of
computing, and on the communication penalty of distributed versus
The second part of his talk is based on joint work with Han-I Su and Paul Cuff.
4:00 p.m. - McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall
Reception 5:00pm - Martel HallWebcast
Abbas El Gamal
received his B.Sc Honors degree from Cairo University in 1972, the M.S.
in Statistics and the PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford
University in 1977 and 1978, respectively. From 1978 to 1980 he was an
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at USC. He joined the
Stanford faculty in 1981, where is currently a Professor of Electrical
Engineering and the Director of the Information Systems Laboratory. His
research interests and contributions are in the areas of network
information theory, digital imaging, and integrated circuit design. He
has contributed over 180 papers and 30 patents in these areas. He is a
fellow of the IEEE and the winner of the 2004 Infocom paper award. He
has cofounded and served on the board of directors and advisory boards
of several Silicon Valley companies.
Host: Behnaam Aazhang