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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 212, 32nd International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2021)

In the Online Machine Covering problem jobs, defined by their sizes, arrive one by one and have to be assigned to m parallel and identical machines, with the goal of maximizing the load of the least-loaded machine. Unfortunately, the classical model allows only fairly pessimistic performance guarantees: The best possible deterministic ratio of m is achieved by the Greedy-strategy, and the best known randomized algorithm has competitive ratio Õ(√m) which cannot be improved by more than a logarithmic factor.
Modern results try to mitigate this by studying semi-online models, where additional information about the job sequence is revealed in advance or extra resources are provided to the online algorithm. In this work we study the Machine Covering problem in the recently popular random-order model. Here no extra resources are present, but instead the adversary is weakened in that it can only decide upon the input set while jobs are revealed uniformly at random. It is particularly relevant to Machine Covering where lower bounds are usually associated to highly structured input sequences.
We first analyze Graham’s Greedy-strategy in this context and establish that its competitive ratio decreases slightly to Θ(m/(log(m))) which is asymptotically tight. Then, as our main result, we present an improved Õ(∜m)-competitive algorithm for the problem. This result is achieved by exploiting the extra information coming from the random order of the jobs, using sampling techniques to devise an improved mechanism to distinguish jobs that are relatively large from small ones. We complement this result with a first lower bound showing that no algorithm can have a competitive ratio of O(log(m)/{log log(m)}) in the random-order model. This lower bound is achieved by studying a novel variant of the Secretary problem, which could be of independent interest.

Susanne Albers, Waldo Gálvez, and Maximilian Janke. Machine Covering in the Random-Order Model. In 32nd International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 212, pp. 52:1-52:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{albers_et_al:LIPIcs.ISAAC.2021.52, author = {Albers, Susanne and G\'{a}lvez, Waldo and Janke, Maximilian}, title = {{Machine Covering in the Random-Order Model}}, booktitle = {32nd International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2021)}, pages = {52:1--52:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-214-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {212}, editor = {Ahn, Hee-Kap and Sadakane, Kunihiko}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2021.52}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-154858}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ISAAC.2021.52}, annote = {Keywords: Machine Covering, Online Algorithm, Random-Order, Competitive Analysis, Scheduling} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 213, 41st IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2021)

This paper studies online makespan minimization in the secretary model. Jobs, specified by their processing times, are presented in a uniformly random order. The input size n is known in advance. An online algorithm has to non-preemptively assign each job permanently and irrevocably to one of m parallel and identical machines such that the expected time it takes to process them all, the makespan, is minimized.
We give two deterministic algorithms. First, a straightforward adaptation of the semi-online strategy Light Load [Albers and Hellwig, 2012] provides a very simple approach retaining its competitive ratio of 1.75. A new and sophisticated algorithm is 1.535-competitive. These competitive ratios are not only obtained in expectation but, in fact, for all but a very tiny fraction of job orders.
Classically, online makespan minimization only considers the worst-case order. Here, no competitive ratio below 1.885 for deterministic algorithms and 1.581 using randomization is possible. The best randomized algorithm so far is 1.916-competitive. Our results show that classical worst-case orders are quite rare and pessimistic for many applications.
We complement our results by providing first lower bounds. A competitive ratio obtained on nearly all possible job orders must be at least 1.257. This implies a lower bound of 1.043 for both deterministic and randomized algorithms in the general model.

Susanne Albers and Maximilian Janke. Scheduling in the Secretary Model. In 41st IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 213, pp. 6:1-6:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{albers_et_al:LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2021.6, author = {Albers, Susanne and Janke, Maximilian}, title = {{Scheduling in the Secretary Model}}, booktitle = {41st IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2021)}, pages = {6:1--6:22}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-215-0}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {213}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Chekuri, Chandra}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2021.6}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-155172}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2021.6}, annote = {Keywords: Scheduling, makespan minimization, online algorithm, competitive analysis, lower bound, random-order, secretary problem} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 168, 47th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2020)

Makespan minimization on identical machines is a fundamental problem in online scheduling. The goal is to assign a sequence of jobs to m identical parallel machines so as to minimize the maximum completion time of any job. Already in the 1960s, Graham showed that Greedy is (2-1/m)-competitive [Graham, 1966]. The best deterministic online algorithm currently known achieves a competitive ratio of 1.9201 [Fleischer and Wahl, 2000]. No deterministic online strategy can obtain a competitiveness smaller than 1.88 [Rudin III, 2001].
In this paper, we study online makespan minimization in the popular random-order model, where the jobs of a given input arrive as a random permutation. It is known that Greedy does not attain a competitive factor asymptotically smaller than 2 in this setting [Osborn and Torng, 2008]. We present the first improved performance guarantees. Specifically, we develop a deterministic online algorithm that achieves a competitive ratio of 1.8478. The result relies on a new analysis approach. We identify a set of properties that a random permutation of the input jobs satisfies with high probability. Then we conduct a worst-case analysis of our algorithm, for the respective class of permutations. The analysis implies that the stated competitiveness holds not only in expectation but with high probability. Moreover, it provides mathematical evidence that job sequences leading to higher performance ratios are extremely rare, pathological inputs. We complement the results by lower bounds for the random-order model. We show that no deterministic online algorithm can achieve a competitive ratio smaller than 4/3. Moreover, no deterministic online algorithm can attain a competitiveness smaller than 3/2 with high probability.

Susanne Albers and Maximilian Janke. Scheduling in the Random-Order Model. In 47th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 168, pp. 68:1-68:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{albers_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2020.68, author = {Albers, Susanne and Janke, Maximilian}, title = {{Scheduling in the Random-Order Model}}, booktitle = {47th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2020)}, pages = {68:1--68:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-138-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {168}, editor = {Czumaj, Artur and Dawar, Anuj and Merelli, Emanuela}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2020.68}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-124750}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2020.68}, annote = {Keywords: Scheduling, makespan minimization, online algorithm, competitive analysis, lower bound, random-order} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 154, 37th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2020)

We study the fundamental list update problem in the paid exchange model P^d. This cost model was introduced by Manasse, McGeoch and Sleator [M.S. Manasse et al., 1988] and Reingold, Westbrook and Sleator [N. Reingold et al., 1994]. Here the given list of items may only be rearranged using paid exchanges; each swap of two adjacent items in the list incurs a cost of d. Free exchanges of items are not allowed. The model is motivated by the fact that, when executing search operations on a data structure, key comparisons are less expensive than item swaps.
We develop a new randomized online algorithm that achieves an improved competitive ratio against oblivious adversaries. For large d, the competitiveness tends to 2.2442. Technically, the analysis of the algorithm relies on a new approach of partitioning request sequences and charging expected cost. Furthermore, we devise lower bounds on the competitiveness of randomized algorithms against oblivious adversaries. No such lower bounds were known before. Specifically, we prove that no randomized online algorithm can achieve a competitive ratio smaller than 2 in the partial cost model, where an access to the i-th item in the current list incurs a cost of i-1 rather than i. All algorithms proposed in the literature attain their competitiveness in the partial cost model. Furthermore, we show that no randomized online algorithm can achieve a competitive ratio smaller than 1.8654 in the standard full cost model. Again the lower bounds hold for large d.

Susanne Albers and Maximilian Janke. New Bounds for Randomized List Update in the Paid Exchange Model. In 37th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 154, pp. 12:1-12:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{albers_et_al:LIPIcs.STACS.2020.12, author = {Albers, Susanne and Janke, Maximilian}, title = {{New Bounds for Randomized List Update in the Paid Exchange Model}}, booktitle = {37th International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2020)}, pages = {12:1--12:17}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-140-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {154}, editor = {Paul, Christophe and Bl\"{a}ser, Markus}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2020.12}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-118735}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2020.12}, annote = {Keywords: self-organizing lists, online algorithm, competitive analysis, lower bound} }

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