Encyclopedia of Algorithms

2016 Edition
| Editors: Ming-Yang Kao

Alternative Performance Measures in Online Algorithms

  • Alejandro López-Ortiz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2864-4_13

Years and Authors of Summarized Original Work

  • 2000; Koutsoupias, Papadimitriou

  • 2005; Dorrigiv, López-Ortiz

Problem Definition

While the competitive ratio [19] is the most common metric in online algorithm analysis and it has led to a vast amount of knowledge in the field, there are numerous known applications in which the competitive ratio produces unsatisfactory results. Far too often, it leads to unrealistically pessimistic measures including the failure to distinguish between algorithms that have vastly differing performance under any practical characterization in practice. Because of this there, has been extensive research in alternatives to the competitive ratio, with a renewed effort in the period from 2005 to the present date.

The competitive ratio metric can be derived from the observation that an online algorithm, in essence, computes a partial solution to a problem using incomplete information. Then, it is only natural to quantify the performance drop due to this absence of...


Bijective analysis Diffuse adversary Loose competitiveness Relative interval analysis Relative worst-order ratio Smoothed analysis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.David R. Cheriton School of Computer ScienceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada