Fully-Dynamic Bin Packing with Little Repacking

Authors Björn Feldkord, Matthias Feldotto, Anupam Gupta, Guru Guruganesh, Amit Kumar, Sören Riechers, David Wajc

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Björn Feldkord
  • Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany
Matthias Feldotto
  • Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany
Anupam Gupta
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
Guru Guruganesh
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
Amit Kumar
  • IIT Delhi, New Delhi, India
Sören Riechers
  • Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany
David Wajc
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA

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Björn Feldkord, Matthias Feldotto, Anupam Gupta, Guru Guruganesh, Amit Kumar, Sören Riechers, and David Wajc. Fully-Dynamic Bin Packing with Little Repacking. In 45th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 107, pp. 51:1-51:24, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


We study the classic bin packing problem in a fully-dynamic setting, where new items can arrive and old items may depart. We want algorithms with low asymptotic competitive ratio while repacking items sparingly between updates. Formally, each item i has a movement cost c_i >= 0, and we want to use alpha * OPT bins and incur a movement cost gamma * c_i, either in the worst case, or in an amortized sense, for alpha, gamma as small as possible. We call gamma the recourse of the algorithm. This is motivated by cloud storage applications, where fully-dynamic bin packing models the problem of data backup to minimize the number of disks used, as well as communication incurred in moving file backups between disks. Since the set of files changes over time, we could recompute a solution periodically from scratch, but this would give a high number of disk rewrites, incurring a high energy cost and possible wear and tear of the disks. In this work, we present optimal tradeoffs between number of bins used and number of items repacked, as well as natural extensions of the latter measure.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Online algorithms
  • Bin Packing
  • Fully Dynamic
  • Recourse
  • Tradeoffs


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