CS 795 Spring 2008
Online Algorithms

Lecture Time: Monday 7:20pm - 10:00pm
Location: Robinson Hall A 243
Course webpage: http://www.cs.gmu.edu/~lifei/teaching/cs795_spring08/
Credit: 3

Instructor: Fei Li, Office 443 ST II, Email: lifei@cs.gmu.edu
Office hours: Monday 5:00pm - 7:00pm

There is no class on January 21, 2008.

Course Overview:

In this course, we will learn deterministic and randomized online algorithms and their analysis. This course covers 2 parts. In the first part, we will introduce the basic concepts on online algorithms and competitive analysis. We will cover some classic online algorithms and their analysis, including list scheduling, paging algorithms, k-server problems, online scheduling, potential functions and Yao's principle for lower bounds. We will also introduce some applications of online algorithms, such as power saving problems, online searching, online auction, and packet buffering problems, etc. In the second part, we will discuss some recent and important papers appeared in the conferences like STOC, SODA, FOCS, RTSS, ACM-EC, etc. Students are required to make a comprehensive survey and give presentations of those papers in class.


CS 483. Please contact with the instructor if you are not sure.

Required Textbook:

Online Computation and Competitive Analysis, BE by Allan Borodin and Ran El-Yaniv

Recommended Books:

Randomized Algorithms, MR (Chapter 2, Chapter 13) by Rajeev Motwani and Prabhakar Raghavan
Introduction to Algorithms, CLRS (Chapter 5, Chapter 17) by Thomas H. Corman, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein
Algorithm Design, KT (Chapter 13) by Jon Kleinberg and Eva Tardos (You can find a sample copy of Chapter 13 on the webpage.)

Course Materials: (Tentative)

Lecture Date Topic Lecture Notes Scope
01 January 28 Introduction of potential function   CLSR Ch. 17; CLSR Ch. 5; KT Ch. 13
02 February 4 Introduction of andomized algorithms and zero-sum games   MR Ch. 2; BE Ch. 6, 7, 8
03 February 11 List scheduling   BE Ch. 1, Ch. 2
04 February 18 Paging algorithms   BE Ch. 3, Ch. 4
05 February 25 Paging models and new metrics   BE Ch. 5; SIGACT News
06 March 3 k-server problem   BE Ch. 9, Ch. 10, Ch. 11
  March 10 Spring break    
07 March 17 Load balancing and call admission   BE Ch. 12; BE Ch. 13; makespan
08 March 24 Online learning and decision theories   BE Ch. 14; BE Ch. 15; adversary networks
09 March 31 (Discussion) Online scheduling   See papers
10 April 7 (Discussion) Power management   See papers
11 April 14 (Discussion) Packet buffering   See papers
12 April 21 (Discussion) Online search and social networks (TBD)   See papers
13 April 28 Presentations    
14 May 5 Presentations    

Paper list (Papers are to be added in this list along the course):

Tentative Grading: