This issue contains four papers selected by the Program Committee among the thirty-four papers presented at the 30th Annual ACM SIGACT-SIGOPS Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC), held on June 6–8, 2011, in San Jose, California, USA. Due to time constraints, one additional paper invited to the special issue could not appear in this volume. This paper will appear in a future volume of this journal, if accepted. The five papers were selected based on their quality and representation of the range of topics addressed in the Symposium. In addition to being reviewed, in preliminary form, by the Program Committee of PODC 2011, the papers selected for this special issue were subsequently refereed according to the standard practices of Distributed Computing. These papers appear here in revised and expanded form. The paper Distributed deterministic edge-coloring using bounded neighborhood independence by L. Barenboim and M. Elkin won the Best Student Paper Award. It studies the vertexand edge-coloring problems on graphs. It improves the state of the art for edge-coloring in general graphs, and for vertex-coloring in graphs with bounded neighborhood independence. The paper Toward more localized local algorithms: removing assumptions concerning global knowledge by A. Korman, J.-S. Sereni, and L. Viennot tackles the issue of a priori knowledge, e.g., the number of nodes, given to the nodes performing local computations in a network. The paper demonstrates that, for a wide class of algorithms, there are no needs of providing nodes with such information.