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Stochastic dynamic matching: A mixed graph-theory and linear-algebra approach

12/29/2021
by   Céline Comte, et al.
0

The stochastic dynamic matching problem has recently drawn attention in the stochastic-modeling community due to its numerous applications, ranging from supply-chain management to kidney exchange programs. In this paper, we consider a matching problem in which items of different classes arrive according to independent Poisson processes. Unmatched items are stored in a queue, and compatibility constraints are described by a simple graph on the classes, so that two items can be matched if their classes are neighbors in the graph. We analyze the efficiency of matching policies, not only in terms of system stability, but also in terms of matching rates between different classes. Our results rely on the observation that, under any stable policy, the matching rates satisfy a conservation equation that equates the arrival and departure rates of each item class. Our main contributions are threefold. We first introduce a mapping between the dimension of the solution set of this conservation equation, the structure of the compatibility graph, and the existence of a stable policy. In particular, this allows us to derive a necessary and sufficient stability condition that is verifiable in polynomial time. Secondly, we describe the convex polytope of non-negative solutions of the conservation equation. When this polytope is reduced to a single point, we give a closed-form expression of the solution; in general, we characterize the vertices of this polytope using again the graph structure. Lastly, we show that greedy policies cannot, in general, achieve every point in the polytope. In contrast, non-greedy policies can reach any point of the interior of this polytope, and we give a condition for these policies to also reach the boundary of the polytope.

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