Networks are largely viewed as a medium for communication from transmitters to receivers. More generally a network can be used as a medium to enable coordinated action between the entities represented by its nodes. Of particular interest is the simulation of joint distributions over networks, which is of interest both in security as in the creation of a shared secret key between some of the nodes of the network, and in strategic scenarios where the network, as player in a game, may need to jointly randomize the actions of the entities that comprise it. There has been considerable recent interest and progress in the information theory community on the problem of simulation of joint distributions over networks. We will discuss some of this progress, present some of our new results, and discuss some of the open problems in this area. (Based on joint work with Vivek Borkar, Amin Aminzadeh Gohari, and Sudeep Kamath)
Venkat Anantharam is on the faculty of the EECS department at UC Berkeley. He received his B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1980. Subsequently, he received an MS in EE, an MA in mathematics, a C.Phil in Mathematics, and a Ph.D. in EE – all from UC Berkeley in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986, respectively. He is a winner of the 1987 Presidential Young Investigator award from National Science Foundation (US), the 1998 Prize Paper award of the IEEE Info. Theory Society (with S. Verdu), and the 2000 Stephen O. Rice Prize Paper award of the IEEE Comm. Theory Soc. (with N. Mckeown and J. Walrand). He is a recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Madras. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.