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An Improved Approximation Algorithm for the Traveling Tournament Problem with Maximum Trip Length Two

Authors Mingyu Xiao, Shaowei Kou



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Mingyu Xiao
Shaowei Kou

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Mingyu Xiao and Shaowei Kou. An Improved Approximation Algorithm for the Traveling Tournament Problem with Maximum Trip Length Two. In 41st International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 58, pp. 89:1-89:14, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)
https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.MFCS.2016.89

Abstract

The Traveling Tournament Problem is a complex combinatorial optimization problem in tournament timetabling, which asks a schedule of home/away games meeting specific feasibility requirements, while also minimizing the total distance traveled by all the n teams (n is even). Despite intensive algorithmic research on this problem over the last decade, most instances with more than 10 teams in well-known benchmarks are still unsolved. In this paper, we give a practical approximation algorithm for the problem with constraints such that at most two consecutive home games or away games are allowed. Our algorithm, that generates feasible schedules based on minimum perfect matchings in the underlying graph, not only improves the previous approximation ratio from (1+16/n) to about (1+4/n) but also has very good experimental performances. By applying our schedules on known benchmark sets, we can beat all previously-known results of instances with n being a multiple of 4 by 3% to 10%.
Keywords
  • sports scheduling
  • traveling tournament problem
  • approximation algorithms
  • timetabling combinatorial optimization

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