On the power of the congested clique model

Andrew Drucker, Fabian Kuhn, Rotem Oshman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We study the computation power of the congested clique, a model of distributed computation where n players communicate with each other over a complete network in order to compute some function of their inputs. The number of bits that can be sent on any edge in a round is bounded by a parameter b We consider two versions of the model: in the first, the players communicate by unicast, allowing them to send a different message on each of their links in one round; in the second, the players communicate by broadcast, sending one message to all their neighbors.

It is known that the unicast version of the model is quite powerful; to date, no lower bounds for this model are known. In this paper we provide a partial explanation by showing that the unicast congested clique can simulate powerful classes of bounded-depth circuits, implying that even slightly super-constant lower bounds for the congested clique would give new lower bounds in circuit complexity. Moreover, under a widely-believed conjecture on matrix multiplication, the triangle detection problem, studied in [8], can be solved in O(nε) time for any ε > 0.

The broadcast version of the congested clique is the well-known multi-party shared-blackboard model of communication complexity (with number-in-hand input). This version is more amenable to lower bounds, and in this paper we show that the subgraph detection problem studied in [8] requires polynomially many rounds for several classes of subgraphs. We also give upper bounds for the subgraph detection problem, and relate the hardness of triangle detection in the broadcast congested clique to the communication complexity of set disjointness in the 3-party number-on-forehead model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC '14, Paris, France, July 15-18, 2014
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-2944-6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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