IEOR - Designing a More Efficient World

An Optimally-Competitive Algorithm for Maximum Online Perfect Bipartite Matching with i.i.d. Arrivals

Publication Date: September 7, 2019

Minjun Chang, Dorit S. Hochbaum, Quico Spaen and Mark Velednitsky. An Optimally-Competitive Algorithm for Maximum Online Perfect Bipartite Matching with iid Arrivals. Theory of Computing Systems, 64 (2020) pp.645-661.


Abstract: We present an optimally-competitive algorithm for the problem of maximum online perfect bipartite matching with i.i.d. arrivals. In this problem, we are given a known set of workers, a distribution over job types, and non-negative utility weights for each pair of worker and job types. At each time step, a job is drawn i.i.d. from the distribution over job types. Upon arrival, the job must be irrevocably assigned to a worker and cannot be dropped. The goal is to maximize the expected sum of utilities
after all jobs are assigned. We introduce DISPATCH, a 0.5-competitive, randomized algorithm. We also prove that 0.5-competitive is the best possible. When a job arrives, DISPATCH first selects a “preferred worker” and assigns the job to this worker if it is available. The preferred worker is determined based on an optimal solution to a fractional transportation problem. If the preferred worker is not available, DISPATCH randomly selects a worker from the available workers.