Approximation algorithms for the graph balancing problem with two speeds and two job lengths

  • Daniel R. Page
  • Roberto Solis-Oba


Consider a set of n jobs and m uniform parallel machines, where each job has a length \(p_j \in {\mathbb {Q}}^+\) and each machine has a speed \(s_i \in {\mathbb {Q}}^+\). The goal of the graph balancing problem with speeds is to schedule each job j non-preemptively on one of a subset \({\mathcal {M}}_j\) of at most 2 machines so that the makespan is minimized. This is a \(\textsf {NP}\)-hard special case of the makespan minimization problem on unrelated parallel machines, where for the latter a longstanding open problem is to find an approximation algorithm with approximation ratio better than 2. Our main contribution is an approximation algorithm for the graph balancing problem with two speeds and two job lengths with approximation ratio \((\sqrt{65}+7)/8 \approx 1.88278\). In addition, we consider when every \({\mathcal {M}}_j\) has no cardinality constraints, this is the restricted assignment problem in the uniform parallel machine setting. We present a simple \((2-\alpha /\beta )\)-approximation algorithm in this case when every job has one of two job lengths \(p_j \in \{\alpha , \beta \}\) where \(\alpha < \beta \).


Makespan minimization Unrelated parallel machines Approximation algorithms Graph balancing problem Restricted assignment problem Scheduling theory 

Mathematics Subject Classification

68W25 90B35 



We would like to thank Marten Maack for his comments on our paper. In addition, we would like to acknowledge and thank the anonymous reviewers for their criticisms.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceWestern UniversityLondonCanada

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