The Online MinSum Set Cover Problem
Abstract
We consider the online MinSum Set Cover (MSSC), a natural and intriguing generalization of the classical list update problem. In Online MSSC, the algorithm maintains a permutation on $n$ elements based on subsets $S_1, S_2, \ldots$ arriving online. The algorithm serves each set $S_t$ upon arrival, using its current permutation $\pi_{t}$, incurring an access cost equal to the position of the first element of $S_t$ in $\pi_{t}$. Then, the algorithm may update its permutation to $\pi_{t+1}$, incurring a moving cost equal to the Kendall tau distance of $\pi_{t}$ to $\pi_{t+1}$. The objective is to minimize the total access and moving cost for serving the entire sequence. We consider the $r$uniform version, where each $S_t$ has cardinality $r$. List update is the special case where $r = 1$. We obtain tight bounds on the competitive ratio of deterministic online algorithms for MSSC against a static adversary, that serves the entire sequence by a single permutation. First, we show a lower bound of $(r+1)(1\frac{r}{n+1})$ on the competitive ratio. Then, we consider several natural generalizations of successful list update algorithms and show that they fail to achieve any interesting competitive guarantee. On the positive side, we obtain a $O(r)$competitive deterministic algorithm using ideas from online learning and the multiplicative weight updates (MWU) algorithm. Furthermore, we consider efficient algorithms. We propose a memoryless online algorithm, called MoveAllEqually, which is inspired by the Double Coverage algorithm for the $k$server problem. We show that its competitive ratio is $\Omega(r^2)$ and $2^{O(\sqrt{\log n \cdot \log r})}$, and conjecture that it is $f(r)$competitive. We also compare MoveAllEqually against the dynamic optimal solution and obtain (almost) tight bounds by showing that it is $\Omega(r \sqrt{n})$ and $O(r^{3/2} \sqrt{n})$competitive.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 March 2020
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2003.02161
 Bibcode:
 2020arXiv200302161F
 Keywords:

 Computer Science  Data Structures and Algorithms