On-line algorithms are usually analyzed using competitive analysis, in which the performance

of on-line algorithm on a sequence is normalized by the performance of the optimal on-line

algorithm on that sequence. In this paper we introduce adaptive/cooperative analysis as an

alternative general framework for the analysis of on-line algorithms. This model gives promising

results when applied to two well known on-line problems, paging and list update. The idea is

to normalize the performance of an on-line algorithm by a measure other than the performance

of the on-line optimal algorithm OPT. We show that in many instances the perform of OPT

on a sequence is a coarse approximation of the difficulty or complexity of a given input. Using

a finer, more natural measure we can separate paging and list update algorithms which were

otherwise undistinguishable under the classical model. This createas a performance hierarchy of

algorithms which better reflects the intuitive relative strengths between them. Lastly, we show

that, surprisingly, certain randomized algorithms which are superior to MTF in the classical

model are not so in the adaptive case. This confirms that the ability of the on-line adaptive

algorithm to ignore pathological worst cases can lead to algorithms that are more efficient in

practice.