2020 SIROCCO Prize for Innovation in Distributed Computing
University of Paris
It is a pleasure to award the 2020 SIROCCO Prize for Innovation in Distributed Computing to Amos Korman. Amos has been one of the main contributors to distributed network computing since the early 2000's, with outstanding contributions to informative labeling schemes, and dynamic networks, as witnessed by his SIROCCO papers [1,5]. With Shay Kutten and David Peleg, he is the initiator of the whole field of proof-labeling schemes, an elegant and powerful mechanism for the design of fault-tolerant distributed algorithms, including self-stabilizing algorithms, which experienced significant developments since the conference version of their seminal paper  appeared in PODC 2005.
However, the Award Committee wishes to award the prize for another radically innovative line of research that Amos launched in the 2010's. This research aims at using tools from distributed algorithms design and analysis to the study of biological ensembles, such as ant colonies, schools of fish, cellular systems, flocks of birds, etc. Its guiding principle is that, by modeling the behaviors of biological ensembles using tools from distributed computing, one can derive bounds on the capabilities of each individual in these ensembles, regarding communication and computation abilities. In 2012, Amos Korman published his first two contributions in this field [3,4], on collaborative search with implications for biology. These papers had a great impact on the distributed computing community, opening wide avenues for research.
In 2013, Amos with his colleagues set up the Workshop on Biological Distributed Algorithms (BDA). Since then, this workshop has been organized yearly, and successfully gathered computer scientists and biologists interested in computational aspects of biological systems. Hence, not only did Amos author influential papers, but also he was at the origin of the setup of an entire community of scientists.
Showing the impact of distributed computing not only on the theory and practice of artificial systems (networks, distributed systems and architectures, etc.), but also on other disciplines is an important contribution to augmenting the visibility of this field of research. Amos has been one of the pioneers in noticing the importance of distributed computing for life sciences.
We award the 2020 SIROCCO Prize for Innovation in Distributed Computing to Amos Korman for his pioneering contributions to distributed computing methods for system biology.
The 2020 Award committee
- Shantanu Das (Aix-Marseille University)
- Andrzej Pelc, chair (Universite du Quebec en Outaouais)
- Boaz Patt-Shamir (Tel Aviv University)
- Zvi Lotker (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)
- Michel Raynal (Irisa, France)
- Jukka Suomela (Aalto University)
We wish to thank the nominators for the nomination and for contributing heavily to this text.
Selected publications related to Amos Korman's contribution:
- Amos Korman, Shay Kutten: Labeling Schemes with Queries. SIROCCO 2007: 109-123
- Amos Korman, Shay Kutten, David Peleg: Proof labeling schemes. Distributed Computing 22(4): 215-233 (2010).
- Ofer Feinerman, Amos Korman: Memory Lower Bounds for Randomized Collaborative Search and Implications for Biology. DISC 2012: 61-75.
- Ofer Feinerman, Amos Korman, Zvi Lotker, Jean-Sebastien Sereni: Collaborative search on the plane without communication. PODC 2012: 77-86.
- Ofer Feinerman, Amos Korman: Clock Synchronization and Estimation in Highly Dynamic Networks: An Information Theoretic Approach. SIROCCO 2015: 16-30.
- Amos Korman, Yoav Rodeh: Parallel Search with No Coordination. SIROCCO 2017: 195-211.
- Ofer Feinerman, Amos Korman: The ANTS problem. Distributed Computing 30(3): 149-168 (2017).
- Lucas Boczkowski, Amos Korman, Emanuele Natale: Minimizing message size in stochastic communication patterns: fast self-stabilizing protocols with 3 bits. Distributed Computing 32(3): 173-191 (2019).