Online Algorithms for Machine Minimization

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In this paper, we consider the online version of the machine minimization problem (introduced by Chuzhoy et al., FOCS 2004), where the goal is to schedule a set of jobs with release times, deadlines, and processing lengths on a minimum number of identical machines. Since the online problem has strong lower bounds if all the job parameters are arbitrary, we focus on jobs with uniform length. Our main result is a complete resolution of the deterministic complexity of this problem by showing that a competitive ratio of $e$ is achievable and optimal, thereby improving upon existing lower and upper bounds of 2.09 and 5.2 respectively. We also give a constant-competitive online algorithm for the case of uniform deadlines (but arbitrary job lengths); to the best of our knowledge, no such algorithm was known previously. Finally, we consider the complimentary problem of throughput maximization where the goal is to maximize the sum of weights of scheduled jobs on a fixed set of identical machines (introduced by Bar-Noy et al. STOC 1999). We give a randomized online algorithm for this problem with a competitive ratio of e/e-1; previous results achieved this bound only for the case of a single machine or in the limit of an infinite number of machines.

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Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Devanur, N; Makarychev, K; Panigrahi, D; Yaroslavtsev, G

Published Date

  • March 3, 2014