Workshop on Stochasticity in Distributed Systems

Research Article

Server selection with arbitrary distribution

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1109/COLCOM.2005.1651266,
        author={Xinjie Li and Monica Brockmeyer},
        title={Server selection with arbitrary distribution},
        proceedings={Workshop on Stochasticity in Distributed Systems},
        keywords={Application software  Capacity planning  Computer science  Control systems  Emulation  Load management  Probability distribution  Safety  Topology},
  • Xinjie Li
    Monica Brockmeyer
    Year: 2006
    Server selection with arbitrary distribution
    DOI: 10.1109/COLCOM.2005.1651266
Xinjie Li1,*, Monica Brockmeyer1,a,*
  • 1: Department of Computer Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202
  • a: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant CAREER-0347222.
*Contact email:,


Many applications need to pick servers with some desired distribution. For example, in probabilistic quorum systems, one method to generate quorums with high probability of intersection is to randomly pick kradicn nodes with a fixed probability distribution. Load balancing applications may need to take several samples of the servers with some desired distribution. Existing approaches realize a fixed stationary distribution by controlling the topology of the overlay graph and conducting random walks on it. In particular, existing approaches focus on achieving a uniform distribution. This paper proposes using the distributed Hastings-Metropolis algorithm to achieve any desired stationary distribution without control or global knowledge of the overlay graph. The new method facilitates good load balancing, since heterogeneous server capacity or other factors can be considered in deciding the appropriate distribution by which to pick servers.