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Journal Articles Algorithmica Year : 2019

On the Separation and Equivalence of Paging Strategies and Other Online Algorithms


We introduce a new technique for the analysis of online algorithms, namely bijective analysis, that is based on pair-wise comparison of the costs incurred by the algorithms. Under this framework, an algorithm A is no worse than an algorithm B if there is a bijection π defined over all request sequences of a given size such that the cost of A on σ is no more than the cost of B on B(π(σ)). We also study a relaxation of bijective analysis, termed average analysis, in which we compare two algorithms based on their corresponding average costs over request sequences of a given size. We apply these new techniques in the context of two fundamental online problems, namely paging and list update. For paging, we show that any two lazy online algorithms are equivalent under bijective analysis. This result demonstrates that, without further assumptions on characteristics of request sequences, it is unlikely, or even undesirable, to separate online paging algorithms based on their performance. However, once we restrict the set of request sequences to those exhibiting locality of reference, and in particular using a model of locality due to Albers, Favrholdt, and Giel [JCSS 2005], we demonstrate that Least-Recently-Used (LRU) is the unique optimal strategy according to average analysis. This is, to our knowledge, the first deterministic model to provide full theoretical backing to the empirical observation that LRU is preferable in practice. Concerning list update, we obtain similar conclusions, in terms of the bijective comparison of any two online algorithms, and in terms of the superiority (albeit not necessarily unique) of the Move-To-Front (MTF) heuristic in the presence of locality of reference.
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hal-02374509 , version 1 (10-11-2020)



Spyros Angelopoulos, Reza Dorrigiv, Alejandro Lopez-Ortiz. On the Separation and Equivalence of Paging Strategies and Other Online Algorithms. Algorithmica, 2019, 81 (3), pp.1152-1179. ⟨10.1007/s00453-018-0461-2⟩. ⟨hal-02374509⟩
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