Buffer management for packets with processing times

Yossi Azar, Oren Gilon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We discuss the well known job scheduling problem with release times and deadlines, alongside an extended model - buffer management for packets with processing requirements. For job scheduling, an (Formula presented) lower bound for any randomized preemptive algorithm was shown by Irani and Canetti (1995), where κ is the the maximum job duration or the maximum job value (the minimum is assumed to be 1). The proof of this well-known result is fairly elaborate and involved. In contrast, we show a significantly improved lower bound of Ω(log κ) using a simple proof. Our result matches the easy upper bound and closes a gap which was supposedly open for 20 years. We also discuss an interesting extension of job scheduling (for tight jobs). We discuss the problem of handling a FIFO buffer of a limited capacity, where packets arrive over time and may be preempted. Most of the work in buffer management considers the case where each packet has unit processing requirement. We consider a model where packets require some number of processing cycles before they can be transmitted.We aim to maximize the value of transmitted packets. We show an Ω(log κ log log κ) lower bound on the competitive ratio of randomized algorithms in this setting.We also present bounds for several special cases. For packets with unit values we also show a ϕ ≈ 1.618 lower bound on the competitive ratio of deterministic algorithms, and a 2-competitive algorithm for this problem. For the case of packets with constant densities we present a 4-competitive algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlgorithms – ESA 2015 - 23rd Annual European Symposium, Proceedings
EditorsNikhil Bansal, Irene Finocchi
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783662483497
StatePublished - 2015
Event23rd European Symposium on Algorithms, ESA 2015 - Patras, Greece
Duration: 14 Sep 201516 Sep 2015

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference23rd European Symposium on Algorithms, ESA 2015


  • Buffer management
  • Competitive analysis
  • Deadlines
  • Job scheduling
  • Online algorithms


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