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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 251, 14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023)

We present a new algorithmic framework for distributed network optimization in the presence of eavesdropper adversaries, also known as passive wiretappers. In this setting, the adversary is listening to the traffic exchanged over a fixed set of edges in the graph, trying to extract information on the private input and output of the vertices. A distributed algorithm is denoted as f-secure, if it guarantees that the adversary learns nothing on the input and output for the vertices, provided that it controls at most f graph edges.
Recent work has presented general simulation results for f-secure algorithms, with a round overhead of D^Θ(f), where D is the diameter of the graph. In this paper, we present a completely different white-box, and yet quite general, approach for obtaining f-secure algorithms for fundamental network optimization tasks. Specifically, for n-vertex D-diameter graphs with (unweighted) edge-connectivity Ω(f), there are f-secure congest algorithms for computing MST, partwise aggregation, and (1+ε) (weighted) minimum cut approximation, within Õ(D+f √n) congest rounds, hence nearly tight for f = Õ(1).
Our algorithms are based on designing a secure algorithmic-toolkit that leverages the special structure of congest algorithms for global optimization graph problems. One of these tools is a general secure compiler that simulates light-weight distributed algorithms in a congestion-sensitive manner. We believe that these tools set the ground for designing additional secure solutions in the congest model and beyond.

Yael Hitron, Merav Parter, and Eylon Yogev. Secure Distributed Network Optimization Against Eavesdroppers. In 14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 251, pp. 71:1-71:20, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{hitron_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.71, author = {Hitron, Yael and Parter, Merav and Yogev, Eylon}, title = {{Secure Distributed Network Optimization Against Eavesdroppers}}, booktitle = {14th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2023)}, pages = {71:1--71:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-263-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {251}, editor = {Tauman Kalai, Yael}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.71}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-175746}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2023.71}, annote = {Keywords: congest, secure computation, network optimization} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 246, 36th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2022)

An eavesdropper is a passive adversary that aims at extracting private information on the input and output values of the network’s participants, by listening to the traffic exchanged over a subset of edges in the graph. We consider secure congest algorithms for the basic broadcast task, in the presence of eavesdropper (edge) adversaries.
For D-diameter n-vertex graphs with edge connectivity Θ(f), we present f-secure broadcast algorithms that run in Õ(D+√{f n}) rounds. These algorithms transmit some broadcast message m^* to all the vertices in the graph, in a way that is information-theoretically secure against an eavesdropper controlling any subset of at most f edges in the graph. While our algorithms are heavily based on network coding (secret sharing), we also show that this is essential. For the basic problem of secure unicast we demonstrate a network coding gap of Ω(n) rounds.
In the presence of vertex adversaries, known as semi-honest, we introduce the Forbidden-Set Broadcast problem: In this problem, the vertices of the graph are partitioned into two sets, trusted and untrusted, denoted as R, F ⊆ V, respectively, such that G[R] is connected. It is then desired to exchange a secret message m^* between all the trusted vertices while leaking no information to the untrusted set F. Our algorithm works in Õ(D+√|R|) rounds and its security guarantees hold even when all the untrusted vertices F are controlled by a (centralized) adversary.

Yael Hitron, Merav Parter, and Eylon Yogev. Broadcast CONGEST Algorithms Against Eavesdroppers. In 36th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 246, pp. 27:1-27:19, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{hitron_et_al:LIPIcs.DISC.2022.27, author = {Hitron, Yael and Parter, Merav and Yogev, Eylon}, title = {{Broadcast CONGEST Algorithms Against Eavesdroppers}}, booktitle = {36th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2022)}, pages = {27:1--27:19}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-255-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {246}, editor = {Scheideler, Christian}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2022.27}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-172186}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2022.27}, annote = {Keywords: congest, edge-connectivity, secret sharing} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 209, 35th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2021)

We consider the corner-stone broadcast task with an adaptive adversary that controls a fixed number of t edges in the input communication graph. In this model, the adversary sees the entire communication in the network and the random coins of the nodes, while maliciously manipulating the messages sent through a set of t edges (unknown to the nodes). Since the influential work of [Pease, Shostak and Lamport, JACM'80], broadcast algorithms against plentiful adversarial models have been studied in both theory and practice for over more than four decades. Despite this extensive research, there is no round efficient broadcast algorithm for general graphs in the CONGEST model of distributed computing. Even for a single adversarial edge (i.e., t = 1), the state-of-the-art round complexity is polynomial in the number of nodes.
We provide the first round-efficient broadcast algorithms against adaptive edge adversaries. Our two key results for n-node graphs of diameter D are as follows:
- For t = 1, there is a deterministic algorithm that solves the problem within Õ(D²) rounds, provided that the graph is 3 edge-connected. This round complexity beats the natural barrier of O(D³) rounds, the existential lower bound on the maximal length of 3 edge-disjoint paths between a given pair of nodes in G. This algorithm can be extended to a Õ((tD)^{O(t)})-round algorithm against t adversarial edges in (2t+1) edge-connected graphs.
- For expander graphs with edge connectivity of Ω(t²log n), there is a considerably improved broadcast algorithm with O(t log ² n) rounds against t adversarial edges. This algorithm exploits the connectivity and conductance properties of G-subgraphs obtained by employing the Karger’s edge sampling technique.
Our algorithms mark a new connection between the areas of fault-tolerant network design and reliable distributed communication.

Yael Hitron and Merav Parter. Broadcast CONGEST Algorithms against Adversarial Edges. In 35th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 209, pp. 23:1-23:19, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{hitron_et_al:LIPIcs.DISC.2021.23, author = {Hitron, Yael and Parter, Merav}, title = {{Broadcast CONGEST Algorithms against Adversarial Edges}}, booktitle = {35th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2021)}, pages = {23:1--23:19}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-210-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {209}, editor = {Gilbert, Seth}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2021.23}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-148256}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2021.23}, annote = {Keywords: CONGEST, Fault-Tolerant Network Design, Edge Connectivity} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 209, 35th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2021)

We consider the adversarial CONGEST model of distributed computing in which a fixed number of edges (or nodes) in the graph are controlled by a computationally unbounded adversary that corrupts the computation by sending malicious messages over these (a-priori unknown) controlled edges. As in the standard CONGEST model, communication is synchronous, where per round each processor can send O(log n) bits to each of its neighbors.
This paper is concerned with distributed algorithms that are both time efficient (in terms of the number of rounds), as well as, robust against a fixed number of adversarial edges. Unfortunately, the existing algorithms in this setting usually assume that the communication graph is complete (n-clique), and very little is known for graphs with arbitrary topologies. We fill in this gap by extending the methodology of [Parter and Yogev, SODA 2019] and provide a compiler that simulates any CONGEST algorithm 𝒜 (in the reliable setting) into an equivalent algorithm 𝒜' in the adversarial CONGEST model. Specifically, we show the following for every (2f+1) edge-connected graph of diameter D:
- For f = 1, there is a general compiler against a single adversarial edge with a compilation overhead of Ô(D³) rounds. This improves upon the Ô(D⁵) round overhead of [Parter and Yogev, SODA 2019] and omits their assumption regarding a fault-free preprocessing phase.
- For any constant f, there is a general compiler against f adversarial edges with a compilation overhead of Ô(D^{O(f)}) rounds. The prior compilers of [Parter and Yogev, SODA 2019] were limited to a single adversarial edge.
Our compilers are based on a new notion of fault-tolerant cycle covers. The computation of these cycles in the adversarial CONGEST model constitutes the key technical contribution of the paper.

Yael Hitron and Merav Parter. General CONGEST Compilers against Adversarial Edges. In 35th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 209, pp. 24:1-24:18, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{hitron_et_al:LIPIcs.DISC.2021.24, author = {Hitron, Yael and Parter, Merav}, title = {{General CONGEST Compilers against Adversarial Edges}}, booktitle = {35th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2021)}, pages = {24:1--24:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-210-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {209}, editor = {Gilbert, Seth}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2021.24}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-148266}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2021.24}, annote = {Keywords: CONGEST, Cycle Covers, Byzantine Adversaries} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 179, 34th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2020)

We initiate the study of biologically-inspired spiking neural networks from the perspective of streaming algorithms. Like computers, human brains face memory limitations, which pose a significant obstacle when processing large scale and dynamically changing data. In computer science, these challenges are captured by the well-known streaming model, which can be traced back to Munro and Paterson `78 and has had significant impact in theory and beyond. In the classical streaming setting, one must compute a function f of a stream of updates 𝒮 = {u₁,…,u_m}, given restricted single-pass access to the stream. The primary complexity measure is the space used by the algorithm.
In contrast to the large body of work on streaming algorithms, relatively little is known about the computational aspects of data processing in spiking neural networks. In this work, we seek to connect these two models, leveraging techniques developed for streaming algorithms to better understand neural computation. Our primary goal is to design networks for various computational tasks using as few auxiliary (non-input or output) neurons as possible. The number of auxiliary neurons can be thought of as the "space" required by the network.
Previous algorithmic work in spiking neural networks has many similarities with streaming algorithms. However, the connection between these two space-limited models has not been formally addressed. We take the first steps towards understanding this connection. On the upper bound side, we design neural algorithms based on known streaming algorithms for fundamental tasks, including distinct elements, approximate median, and heavy hitters. The number of neurons in our solutions almost match the space bounds of the corresponding streaming algorithms. As a general algorithmic primitive, we show how to implement the important streaming technique of linear sketching efficiently in spiking neural networks. On the lower bound side, we give a generic reduction, showing that any space-efficient spiking neural network can be simulated by a space-efficient streaming algorithm. This reduction lets us translate streaming-space lower bounds into nearly matching neural-space lower bounds, establishing a close connection between the two models.

Yael Hitron, Cameron Musco, and Merav Parter. Spiking Neural Networks Through the Lens of Streaming Algorithms. In 34th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 179, pp. 10:1-10:18, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{hitron_et_al:LIPIcs.DISC.2020.10, author = {Hitron, Yael and Musco, Cameron and Parter, Merav}, title = {{Spiking Neural Networks Through the Lens of Streaming Algorithms}}, booktitle = {34th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2020)}, pages = {10:1--10:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-168-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {179}, editor = {Attiya, Hagit}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2020.10}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-130882}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2020.10}, annote = {Keywords: Biological distributed algorithms, Spiking neural networks, Streaming algorithms} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 151, 11th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2020)

We study input compression in a biologically inspired model of neural computation. We demonstrate that a network consisting of a random projection step (implemented via random synaptic connectivity) followed by a sparsification step (implemented via winner-take-all competition) can reduce well-separated high-dimensional input vectors to well-separated low-dimensional vectors. By augmenting our network with a third module, we can efficiently map each input (along with any small perturbations of the input) to a unique representative neuron, solving a neural clustering problem.
Both the size of our network and its processing time, i.e., the time it takes the network to compute the compressed output given a presented input, are independent of the (potentially large) dimension of the input patterns and depend only on the number of distinct inputs that the network must encode and the pairwise relative Hamming distance between these inputs. The first two steps of our construction mirror known biological networks, for example, in the fruit fly olfactory system [Caron et al., 2013; Lin et al., 2014; Dasgupta et al., 2017]. Our analysis helps provide a theoretical understanding of these networks and lay a foundation for how random compression and input memorization may be implemented in biological neural networks.
Technically, a contribution in our network design is the implementation of a short-term memory. Our network can be given a desired memory time t_m as an input parameter and satisfies the following with high probability: any pattern presented several times within a time window of t_m rounds will be mapped to a single representative output neuron. However, a pattern not presented for c⋅t_m rounds for some constant c>1 will be "forgotten", and its representative output neuron will be released, to accommodate newly introduced patterns.

Yael Hitron, Nancy Lynch, Cameron Musco, and Merav Parter. Random Sketching, Clustering, and Short-Term Memory in Spiking Neural Networks. In 11th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 151, pp. 23:1-23:31, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{hitron_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2020.23, author = {Hitron, Yael and Lynch, Nancy and Musco, Cameron and Parter, Merav}, title = {{Random Sketching, Clustering, and Short-Term Memory in Spiking Neural Networks}}, booktitle = {11th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2020)}, pages = {23:1--23:31}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-134-4}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {151}, editor = {Vidick, Thomas}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2020.23}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-117087}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2020.23}, annote = {Keywords: biological distributed computing, spiking neural networks, compressed sensing, clustering, random projection, dimensionality reduction, winner-take-all} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 151, 11th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2020)

Biological neural computation is inherently asynchronous due to large variations in neuronal spike timing and transmission delays. So-far, most theoretical work on neural networks assumes the synchronous setting where neurons fire simultaneously in discrete rounds. In this work we aim at understanding the barriers of asynchronous neural computation from an algorithmic perspective. We consider an extension of the widely studied model of synchronized spiking neurons [Maass, Neural Networks 97] to the asynchronous setting by taking into account edge and node delays.
- Edge Delays: We define an asynchronous model for spiking neurons in which the latency values (i.e., transmission delays) of non self-loop edges vary adversarially over time. This extends the recent work of [Hitron and Parter, ESA'19] in which the latency values are restricted to be fixed over time. Our first contribution is an impossibility result that implies that the assumption that self-loop edges have no delays (as assumed in Hitron and Parter) is indeed necessary. Interestingly, in real biological networks self-loop edges (a.k.a. autapse) are indeed free of delays, and the latter has been noted by neuroscientists to be crucial for network synchronization.
To capture the computational challenges in this setting, we first consider the implementation of a single NOT gate. This simple function already captures the fundamental difficulties in the asynchronous setting. Our key technical results are space and time upper and lower bounds for the NOT function, our time bounds are tight. In the spirit of the distributed synchronizers [Awerbuch and Peleg, FOCS'90] and following [Hitron and Parter, ESA'19], we then provide a general synchronizer machinery. Our construction is very modular and it is based on efficient circuit implementation of threshold gates. The complexity of our scheme is measured by the overhead in the number of neurons and the computation time, both are shown to be polynomial in the largest latency value, and the largest incoming degree Δ of the original network.
- Node Delays: We introduce the study of asynchronous communication due to variations in the response rates of the neurons in the network. In real brain networks, the round duration varies between different neurons in the network. Our key result is a simulation methodology that allows one to transform the above mentioned synchronized solution under edge delays into a synchronized under node delays while incurring a small overhead w.r.t space and time.

Yael Hitron, Merav Parter, and Gur Perri. The Computational Cost of Asynchronous Neural Communication. In 11th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 151, pp. 48:1-48:47, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{hitron_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2020.48, author = {Hitron, Yael and Parter, Merav and Perri, Gur}, title = {{The Computational Cost of Asynchronous Neural Communication}}, booktitle = {11th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2020)}, pages = {48:1--48:47}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-134-4}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {151}, editor = {Vidick, Thomas}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2020.48}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-117330}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2020.48}, annote = {Keywords: asynchronous communication, asynchronous computation, spiking neurons, synchronizers} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 144, 27th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2019)

We consider the task of measuring time with probabilistic threshold gates implemented by bio-inspired spiking neurons. In the model of spiking neural networks, network evolves in discrete rounds, where in each round, neurons fire in pulses in response to a sufficiently high membrane potential. This potential is induced by spikes from neighboring neurons that fired in the previous round, which can have either an excitatory or inhibitory effect.
Discovering the underlying mechanisms by which the brain perceives the duration of time is one of the largest open enigma in computational neuro-science. To gain a better algorithmic understanding onto these processes, we introduce the neural timer problem. In this problem, one is given a time parameter t, an input neuron x, and an output neuron y. It is then required to design a minimum sized neural network (measured by the number of auxiliary neurons) in which every spike from x in a given round i, makes the output y fire for the subsequent t consecutive rounds.
We first consider a deterministic implementation of a neural timer and show that Theta(log t) (deterministic) threshold gates are both sufficient and necessary. This raised the question of whether randomness can be leveraged to reduce the number of neurons. We answer this question in the affirmative by considering neural timers with spiking neurons where the neuron y is required to fire for t consecutive rounds with probability at least 1-delta, and should stop firing after at most 2t rounds with probability 1-delta for some input parameter delta in (0,1). Our key result is a construction of a neural timer with O(log log 1/delta) spiking neurons. Interestingly, this construction uses only one spiking neuron, while the remaining neurons can be deterministic threshold gates. We complement this construction with a matching lower bound of Omega(min{log log 1/delta, log t}) neurons. This provides the first separation between deterministic and randomized constructions in the setting of spiking neural networks.
Finally, we demonstrate the usefulness of compressed counting networks for synchronizing neural networks. In the spirit of distributed synchronizers [Awerbuch-Peleg, FOCS'90], we provide a general transformation (or simulation) that can take any synchronized network solution and simulate it in an asynchronous setting (where edges have arbitrary response latencies) while incurring a small overhead w.r.t the number of neurons and computation time.

Yael Hitron and Merav Parter. Counting to Ten with Two Fingers: Compressed Counting with Spiking Neurons. In 27th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 144, pp. 57:1-57:17, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{hitron_et_al:LIPIcs.ESA.2019.57, author = {Hitron, Yael and Parter, Merav}, title = {{Counting to Ten with Two Fingers: Compressed Counting with Spiking Neurons}}, booktitle = {27th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2019)}, pages = {57:1--57:17}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-124-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {144}, editor = {Bender, Michael A. and Svensson, Ola and Herman, Grzegorz}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2019.57}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-111782}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2019.57}, annote = {Keywords: stochastic neural networks, approximate counting, synchronizer} }

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