The string of diamonds is nearly tight for rumour spreading

Omer Angel, Abbas Mehrabian, Yuval Peres

For a rumour spreading protocol, the spread time is defined as the first time that everyone learns the rumour. We compare the synchronous push&pull rumour spreading protocol with its asynchronous variant, and show that for any $n$-vertex graph and any starting vertex, the ratio between their expected spread times is bounded by $O \left({n}^{1/3}{\log^{2/3} n}\right)$. This improves the $O(\sqrt n)$ upper bound of Giakkoupis, Nazari, and Woelfel (in Proceedings of ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, 2016). Our bound is tight up to a factor of $O(\log n)$, as illustrated by the string of diamonds graph. We also show that if for a pair $\alpha,\beta$ of real numbers, there exists infinitely many graphs for which the two spread times are $n^{\alpha}$ and $n^{\beta}$ in expectation, then $0\leq\alpha \leq 1$ and $\alpha \leq \beta \leq \frac13 + \frac23 \alpha$; and we show each such pair $\alpha,\beta$ is achievable.

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