Offline Sorting Buffers on Line
We consider the offline sorting buffers problem. Input to this problem is a sequence of requests, each specified by a point in a metric space. There is a “server” that moves from point to point to serve these requests. To serve a request, the server needs to visit the point corresponding to that request. The objective is to minimize the total distance travelled by the server in the metric space. In order to achieve this, the server is allowed to serve the requests in any order that requires to “buffer” at most k requests at any time. Thus a valid reordering can serve a request only after serving all but k previous requests.
In this paper, we consider this problem on a line metric which is motivated by its application to a widely studied disc scheduling problem. On a line metric with N uniformly spaced points, our algorithm yields the first constant-factor approximation and runs in quasi-polynomial time O(m Open image in new window N Open image in new window k O(logN)) where m is the total number of requests. Our approach is based on a dynamic program that keeps track of the number of pending requests in each of O(logN) line segments that are geometrically increasing in length.
KeywordsDynamic Program Competitive Ratio Online Algorithm Hamiltonian Path Problem Constant Factor Approximation Algorithm
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