Current Research Interests

A sample Avatar network built as a binary tree Broadly, my research interest is in fault-tolerant distributed computing. There currently is an acute need for fault-tolerance in distributed systems due to the rapid increase in the number and mobility of computing devices, the ubiquity of network connections, and the increase of transient failures that alter the system in an arbitrary fashion. For instance, sensor networks can consist of thousands of nodes operating in hostile environments where node failures, network disconnections, and topological changes are expected behavior. A useful property for these systems, then, is the ability to automatically recover from faults. Examples of these properties include self-healing, self-organizing, and self-stabilizing. My research focuses on the study of these properties, collectively referred to as self-* properties.

My recent work is on a fault-tolerant paradigm called self-stabilizing overlay networks. An overlay network is a network where communication occurs over logical links, where each logical link is realized by one or more physical links. Self-stabilizing overlay networks guarantee the correct overlay network topology is built regardless of the initial state. Currently, I am working on novel applications for self-stabilizing overlay network algorithms with Dr. Sukumar Ghosh.


Journal Papers

Full Conference Papers

  • Andrew Berns. Avatar: A Time- and Space-Efficient Self-Stabilizing Overlay Network. In Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems, SSS ‘15, pages 233-247, 2015. Springer International Publishing. The original publication is available at

  • Andrew Berns, James Hegeman, and Sriram V. Pemmaraju. Super-Fast Distributed Algorithms for Metric Facility Location. In Proceedings of the 39th International Colloquium Conference on Automata, Languages, and Programming - Volume Part II, ICALP ‘12, pages 428-439, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2012. Springer-Verlag. The original publication is available at

  • Andrew Berns, Sukumar Ghosh, and Sriram V. Pemmaraju. Building Self-Stabilizing Overlay Networks with the Transitive Closure Framework. In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems, SSS ‘11, pages 62-76, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2011. Springer-Verlag. (Best Paper Award). The original publication is available at

  • Andrew Berns, Anurag Dasgupta, and Sukumar Ghosh. Stabilizing Pipelines for Streaming Applications. In Proceedings of the 24th IEEE International Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Processing, IPDPS ‘10, pages 1-9, Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 2010. IEEE Computer Society.

  • Andrew Berns and Sukumar Ghosh. Dissecting Self-* Properties. In Proceedings of the 2009 Third IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems, SASO ‘09, pages 10-19, Washington, DC, USA, 2009. IEEE Computer Society.

  • Andrew Berns. A Comparison of CORBA and Ada’s Distributed Systems Annex. In Proceedings of the 2005 Annual ACM SIGAda International Conference on Ada, SIGAda ‘05, pages 103-108, New York, NY, USA, 2005. ACM. The original publication is available in the ACM Digital Library.

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