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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 55, 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)

We provide simple but surprisingly useful direct product theorems for proving lower bounds on online algorithms with a limited amount of advice about the future. Intuitively, our direct product theorems say that if b bits of advice are needed to ensure a cost of at most t for some problem, then r*b bits of advice are needed to ensure a total cost of at most r*t when solving r independent instances of the problem. Using our direct product theorems, we are able to translate decades of research on randomized online algorithms to the advice complexity model. Doing so improves significantly on the previous best advice complexity lower bounds for many online problems, or provides the first known lower bounds. For example, we show that
- A paging algorithm needs Omega(n) bits of advice to achieve a competitive ratio better than H_k = Omega(log k), where k is the cache size. Previously, it was only known that Omega(n) bits of advice were necessary to achieve a constant competitive ratio smaller than 5/4.
- Every O(n^{1-epsilon})-competitive vertex coloring algorithm must use Omega(n log n) bits of advice. Previously, it was only known that Omega(n log n) bits of advice were necessary to be optimal.
For certain online problems, including the MTS, k-server, metric matching, paging, list update, and dynamic binary search tree problem, we prove that randomization and sublinear advice are equally powerful (if the underlying metric space or node set is finite). This means that several long-standing open questions regarding randomized online algorithms can be equivalently stated as questions regarding online algorithms with sublinear advice. For example, we show that there exists a deterministic O(log k)-competitive k-server algorithm with sublinear advice if and only if there exists a randomized O(log k)-competitive k-server algorithm without advice. Technically, our main direct product theorem is obtained by extending an information theoretical lower bound technique due to Emek, Fraigniaud, Korman, and Rosén [ICALP'09].

Jesper W. Mikkelsen. Randomization Can Be as Helpful as a Glimpse of the Future in Online Computation. In 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 55, pp. 39:1-39:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{mikkelsen:LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.39, author = {Mikkelsen, Jesper W.}, title = {{Randomization Can Be as Helpful as a Glimpse of the Future in Online Computation}}, booktitle = {43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)}, pages = {39:1--39:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-013-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {55}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Mitzenmacher, Michael and Rabani, Yuval and Sangiorgi, Davide}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.39}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-63199}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.39}, annote = {Keywords: online algorithms, advice complexity, information theory, randomization} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 30, 32nd International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2015)

The advice complexity of an online problem is a measure of how much knowledge of the future an online algorithm needs in order to achieve a certain competitive ratio. We determine the advice complexity of a number of hard online problems including independent set, vertex cover, dominating set and several others. These problems are hard, since a single wrong answer by the online algorithm can have devastating consequences. For each of these problems, we show that \log\left(1+\frac{(c-1)^{c-1}}{c^{c}}\right)n=\Theta (n/c) bits of advice are necessary and sufficient (up to an additive term of O(\log n)) to achieve a competitive ratio of c. This is done by introducing a new string guessing problem related to those of Emek et al. (TCS 2011) and Böckenhauer et al. (TCS 2014). It turns out that this gives a powerful but easy-to-use method for providing both upper and lower bounds on the advice complexity of an entire class of online problems.
Previous results of Halldórsson et al. (TCS 2002) on online independent set, in a related model, imply that the advice complexity of the problem is \Theta (n/c). Our results improve on this by providing an exact formula for the higher-order term. Böckenhauer et al. (ISAAC 2009) gave a lower bound of \Omega (n/c) and an upper bound of O((n\log c)/c) on the advice complexity of online disjoint path allocation. We improve on the upper bound by a factor of $\log c$. For the remaining problems, no bounds on their advice complexity were previously known.

Joan Boyar, Lene M. Favrholdt, Christian Kudahl, and Jesper W. Mikkelsen. Advice Complexity for a Class of Online Problems. In 32nd International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 30, pp. 116-129, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)

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@InProceedings{boyar_et_al:LIPIcs.STACS.2015.116, author = {Boyar, Joan and Favrholdt, Lene M. and Kudahl, Christian and Mikkelsen, Jesper W.}, title = {{Advice Complexity for a Class of Online Problems}}, booktitle = {32nd International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2015)}, pages = {116--129}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-78-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2015}, volume = {30}, editor = {Mayr, Ernst W. and Ollinger, Nicolas}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2015.116}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-49086}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2015.116}, annote = {Keywords: online algorithms, advice complexity, asymmetric string guessing, advice complexity class AOC, covering designs} }

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