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Online Two-Dimensional Load Balancing

Authors Ilan Cohen, Sungjin Im, Debmalya Panigrahi

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Author Details

Ilan Cohen
  • Jether Energy Ltd, Tel Aviv, Israel
Sungjin Im
  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California Merced, CA, USA
Debmalya Panigrahi
  • Department of Computer Science, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

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Ilan Cohen, Sungjin Im, and Debmalya Panigrahi. Online Two-Dimensional Load Balancing. In 47th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 168, pp. 34:1-34:21, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


In this paper, we consider the problem of assigning 2-dimensional vector jobs to identical machines online so to minimize the maximum load on any dimension of any machine. For arbitrary number of dimensions d, this problem is known as vector scheduling, and recent research has established the optimal competitive ratio as O((log d)/(log log d)) (Im et al. FOCS 2015, Azar et al. SODA 2018). But, these results do not shed light on the situation for small number of dimensions, particularly for d = 2 which is of practical interest. In this case, a trivial analysis shows that the classic list scheduling greedy algorithm has a competitive ratio of 3. We show the following improvements over this baseline in this paper: - We give an improved, and tight, analysis of the list scheduling algorithm establishing a competitive ratio of 8/3 for two dimensions. - If the value of opt is known, we improve the competitive ratio to 9/4 using a variant of the classic best fit algorithm for two dimensions. - For any fixed number of dimensions, we design an algorithm that is provably the best possible against a fractional optimum solution. This algorithm provides a proof of concept that we can simulate the optimal algorithm online up to the integrality gap of the natural LP relaxation of the problem.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Online algorithms
  • Online algorithms
  • scheduling
  • multi-dimensional


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