ESA 2002: Algorithms — ESA 2002 pp 612-624

Partially-Ordered Knapsack and Applications to Scheduling

  • Stavros G. Kolliopoulos
  • George Steiner
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2461)


In the partially-ordered knapsack problem (POK) we are given a set N of items and a partial order ≺p on N. Each item has a size and an associated weight. The objective is to pack a set N’N of maximum weight in a knapsack of bounded size. N’ should be precedence-closed, i.e., be a valid prefix of ≺p . POK is a natural generalization, for which very little is known, of the classical Knapsack problem. In this paper we advance the state-of-the-art for the problem through both positive and negative results. We give an FPTAS for the important case of a 2-dimensional partial order, a class of partial orders which is a substantial generalization of the series-parallel class, and we identify the first non-trivial special case for which a polynomial-time algorithm exists. We also characterize cases where the natural linear relaxation for POK is useful for approximation and we demonstrate its limitations. Our results have implications for approximation algorithms for scheduling precedence-constrained jobs on a single machine to minimize the sum of weighted completion times, a problem closely related to POK.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stavros G. Kolliopoulos
    • 1
  • George Steiner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computing and SoftwareMcMaster UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Management Science and Information SystemsMcMaster UniversityUSA

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