Competitive Vertex Recoloring

Authors Yossi Azar , Chay Machluf, Boaz Patt-Shamir , Noam Touitou

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Author Details

Yossi Azar
  • School of Computer Science, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Chay Machluf
  • School of Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Boaz Patt-Shamir
  • School of Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Noam Touitou
  • School of Computer Science, Tel Aviv University, Israel

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Yossi Azar, Chay Machluf, Boaz Patt-Shamir, and Noam Touitou. Competitive Vertex Recoloring. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 13:1-13:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)


Motivated by placement of jobs in physical machines, we introduce and analyze the problem of online recoloring, or online disengagement. In this problem, we are given a set of n weighted vertices and a k-coloring of the vertices (vertices represent jobs, and colors represent physical machines). Edges, representing conflicts between jobs, are inserted in an online fashion. After every edge insertion, the algorithm must output a proper k-coloring of the vertices. The cost of a recoloring is the sum of weights of vertices whose color changed. Our aim is to minimize the competitive ratio of the algorithm, i.e., the ratio between the cost paid by the online algorithm and the cost paid by an optimal, offline algorithm. We consider a couple of polynomially-solvable coloring variants. Specifically, for 2-coloring bipartite graphs we present an O(log n)-competitive deterministic algorithm and an Ω(log n) lower bound on the competitive ratio of randomized algorithms. For (Δ+1)-coloring, we present tight bounds of Θ(Δ) and Θ(logΔ) on the competitive ratios of deterministic and randomized algorithms, respectively (where Δ denotes the maximum degree). We also consider a dynamic case which allows edge deletions as well as insertions. All our algorithms are applicable to the case where vertices are weighted and the cost of recoloring a vertex is its weight. All our lower bounds hold even in the unweighted case.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Online algorithms
  • Theory of computation → Dynamic graph algorithms
  • Computer systems organization → Cloud computing
  • coloring with recourse
  • anti-affinity constraints


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