Parametrized metrical task systems

Sébastien Bubeck, Yuval Rabani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We consider parametrized versions of metrical task systems and metrical service systems, two fundamental models of online computing, where the constrained parameter is the number of possible distinct requests m. Such parametrization occurs naturally in a wide range of applications. Striking examples are certain power management problems, which are modeled as metrical task systems with m = 2. We characterize the competitive ratio in terms of the parameter m for both deterministic and randomized algorithms on hierarchically separated trees. Our findings uncover a rich and unexpected picture that differs substantially from what is known or conjectured about the unparametrized versions of these problems. For metrical task systems, we show that deterministic algorithms do not exhibit any asymptotic gain beyond one-level trees (namely, uniform metric spaces), whereas randomized algorithms do not exhibit any asymptotic gain even for one-level trees. In contrast, the special case of metrical service systems (subset chasing) behaves very differently. Both deterministic and randomized algorithms exhibit gain, for m sufficiently small compared to n, for any number of levels. Most significantly, they exhibit a large gain for uniform metric spaces and a smaller gain for two-level trees. Moreover, it turns out that in these cases (as well as in the case of metrical task systems for uniform metric spaces with m being an absolute constant), deterministic algorithms are essentially as powerful as randomized algorithms. This is surprising and runs counter to the ubiquitous intuition/conjecture that, for most problems that can be modeled as metrical task systems, the randomized competitive ratio is polylogarithmic in the deterministic competitive ratio.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationApproximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques, APPROX/RANDOM 2020
EditorsJaroslaw Byrka, Raghu Meka
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959771641
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020
Event23rd International Conference on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems and 24th International Conference on Randomization and Computation, APPROX/RANDOM 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 17 Aug 202019 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
Volume176
ISSN (Print)1868-8969

Conference

Conference23rd International Conference on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems and 24th International Conference on Randomization and Computation, APPROX/RANDOM 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period17/08/2019/08/20

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Schloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Competitive analysis
  • Metrical task systems
  • Online computing

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