Data-driven Competitive Algorithms for Online Knapsack and Set Cover

by   Ali Zeynali, et al.

The design of online algorithms has tended to focus on algorithms with worst-case guarantees, e.g., bounds on the competitive ratio. However, it is well-known that such algorithms are often overly pessimistic, performing sub-optimally on non-worst-case inputs. In this paper, we develop an approach for data-driven design of online algorithms that maintain near-optimal worst-case guarantees while also performing learning in order to perform well for typical inputs. Our approach is to identify policy classes that admit global worst-case guarantees, and then perform learning using historical data within the policy classes. We demonstrate the approach in the context of two classical problems, online knapsack and online set cover, proving competitive bounds for rich policy classes in each case. Additionally, we illustrate the practical implications via a case study on electric vehicle charging.



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