Journal of Combinatorial Optimization

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 100-114

First online:

Online bottleneck matching

  • Barbara M. AnthonyAffiliated withMathematics and Computer Science Department, Southwestern University Email author 
  • , Christine ChungAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, Connecticut College

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


We consider the online bottleneck matching problem, where \(k\) server-vertices lie in a metric space and \(k\) request-vertices that arrive over time each must immediately be permanently assigned to a server-vertex. The goal is to minimize the maximum distance between any request and its server. Because no algorithm can have a competitive ratio better than \(O(k)\) for this problem, we use resource augmentation analysis to examine the performance of three algorithms: the naive Greedy algorithm, Permutation, and Balance. We show that while the competitive ratio of Greedy improves from exponential (when each server-vertex has one server) to linear (when each server-vertex has two servers), the competitive ratio of Permutation remains linear when an extra server is introduced at each server-vertex. The competitive ratio of Balance is also linear with an extra server at each server-vertex, even though it has been shown that an extra server makes it constant-competitive for the min-weight matching problem.


Online algorithms Bottleneck matching Resource augmentation Approximation algorithms Matching