© 2013

Fault-Tolerant Search Algorithms

Reliable Computation with Unreliable Information


  • Will be of value to researchers engaged with the theories of search and fault-tolerant computation

  • The author puts a special emphasis throughout on algorithmic efficiency

  • Is supported throughout with exercises and pointers to background literature


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Ferdinando Cicalese
    Pages 1-6
  3. The Ulam-Rényi Game and Its Variants

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Ferdinando Cicalese
      Pages 9-29
    3. Ferdinando Cicalese
      Pages 31-64
    4. Ferdinando Cicalese
      Pages 65-76
  4. Other Models

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-99
    2. Ferdinando Cicalese
      Pages 101-137
    3. Ferdinando Cicalese
      Pages 139-173
    4. Ferdinando Cicalese
      Pages 175-184
    5. Ferdinando Cicalese
      Pages 185-198
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 199-207

About this book


Why a book on fault-tolerant search algorithms? Searching is one of the fundamental problems in computer science. Time and again algorithmic and combinatorial issues originally studied in the context of search find application in the most diverse areas of computer science and discrete mathematics. On the other hand, fault-tolerance is a necessary ingredient of computing.  Due to their inherent complexity, information systems are naturally prone to errors, which may appear at any level – as imprecisions in the data, bugs in the software, or transient or permanent hardware failures. This book provides a concise, rigorous and up-to-date account of different approaches to fault-tolerance in the context of algorithmic search theory.


Thanks to their basic structure, search problems offer insights into how fault-tolerant techniques may be applied in various scenarios. In the first part of the book, a paradigmatic model for fault-tolerant search is presented, the Ulam—Rényi problem. Following a didactic approach, the author takes the reader on a tour of Ulam—Rényi problem variants of increasing complexity. In the context of this basic model, fundamental combinatorial and algorithmic issues in the design of fault-tolerant search procedures are discussed. The algorithmic efficiency achievable is analyzed with respect to the statistical nature of the error sources, and the amount of information on which the search algorithm bases its decisions. In the second part of the book, more general models of faults and fault-tolerance are considered. Special attention is given to the application of fault-tolerant search procedures to specific problems in distributed computing, bioinformatics and computational learning.


This book will be of special value to researchers from the areas of combinatorial search and fault-tolerant computation, but also to researchers in learning and coding theory, databases, and artificial intelligence. Only basic training in discrete mathematics is assumed. Parts of the book can be used as the basis for specialized graduate courses on combinatorial search, or as supporting material for a graduate or undergraduate course on error-correcting codes.



Algorithms Coding Combinatorics Fault-tolerant algorithms Information theory Learning Logic Search

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di InformaticaUniversità degli Studi di SalernoFisciano (SA)Italy

About the authors

The author received the award for the Best Italian Ph.D. thesis in Theoretical Computer Science, for work in this field, and he has since been awarded the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the German Federal Ministry of Research.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Fault-Tolerant Search Algorithms
  • Book Subtitle Reliable Computation with Unreliable Information
  • Authors Ferdinando Cicalese
  • Series Title Monographs in Theoretical Computer Science. An EATCS Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Monographs Theoret.Computer Science(formerly:EATCS)
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Computer Science Computer Science (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-642-17326-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-662-51871-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-642-17327-1
  • Series ISSN 1431-2654
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 207
  • Number of Illustrations 14 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Theory of Computation
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Consumer Packaged Goods
Finance, Business & Banking


From the book reviews:

“The book is well-written and well-organized, and provides a rigorous and up-to-date account of a wide area of algorithmic fault-tolerant search. Each chapter is supplemented with useful bibliographical notes and exercises. … This book will be useful to students and researchers in many diverse areas, ranging from combinatorial search, to learning and coding theory. It is a most valuable addition to the EATCS Series ‘Monographs in Theoretical Computer Science’.” (Daniele Mundici, zbMATH, Vol. 1295, 2014)