InfoPuzzle: Exploring group decision making in mobile peertopeer databases

Aaron J. Elmore, Sudipto Das, Divyakant Agrawal, Amr El Abbadi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As Internet-based services and mobile computing devices, such as smartphones and tablets, become ubiquitous, society's reliance on them to accomplish critical and time-sensitive tasks, such as information dissemination and collaborative decision making, also increases. Dependence on these media magnifies the damage caused by their disruption, whether malicious or natural. For instance, a natural disaster disrupting cellular and Internet infrastructures impedes information spread, which in turn leads to chaos, both among the victims as well as the aid providers. Decentralized and ad-hoc mechanisms for information dissemination and decision making are paramount to help restore order. We demonstrate InfoPuzzle, a mobile peer-to-peer database that utilizes direct device communication to enable group decision making, or consensus, without reliance on centralized communication services. InfoPuzzle minimizes the system's resource consumption, to prolong the lifetime of the power constrained devices by minimizing communication overhead, computational complexity, and persistent storage size. Due to user mobility and the limited range of point-to-point communication, knowing the exact number of participants is impossible, and therefore traditional consensus or quorum protocols cannot be used. We rely of distinct counting techniques, probabilistic thresholds, and bounded time based approaches to reach agreement. In this demo, we will explore various challenges and heuristics in estimating group participation to aid users in reconciling consensus without centralized services.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the VLDB Endowment
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science(all)

Cite this

Elmore, A. J., Das, S., Agrawal, D., & El Abbadi, A. (2012). InfoPuzzle: Exploring group decision making in mobile peertopeer databases. In Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment (12 ed., Vol. 5, pp. 1998-2001)