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Optimal Time-Critical Scheduling via Resource Augmentation


We consider two fundamental problems in dynamic scheduling: scheduling to meet deadlines in a preemptive multiprocessor setting, and scheduling to provide good response time in a number of scheduling environments. When viewed from the perspective of traditional worst-case analysis, no good on-line algorithms exist for these problems, and for some variants no good off-line algorithms exist unless P = NP .

We study these problems using a relaxed notion of competitive analysis, introduced by Kalyanasundaram and Pruhs, in which the on-line algorithm is allowed more resources than the optimal off-line algorithm to which it is compared. Using this approach, we establish that several well-known on-line algorithms, that have poor performance from an absolute worst-case perspective, are optimal for the problems in question when allowed moderately more resources. For optimization of average flow time, these are the first results of any sort, for any NP -hard version of the problem, that indicate that it might be possible to design good approximation algorithms.

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Phillips, Stein, Torng et al. Optimal Time-Critical Scheduling via Resource Augmentation . Algorithmica 32, 163–200 (2002).

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  • Key words. Scheduling, On-line algorithms, Competitive analysis, Flow time, Real-time, Extra resources.