Competitive Vertex Recoloring: (Online Disengagement)

Yossi Azar, Chay Machluf, Boaz Patt-Shamir*, Noam Touitou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motivated by placement of jobs in physical machines, we introduce and analyze the problem of online recoloring, or online disengagement. In this problem, we are given a set of n weighted vertices and a k-coloring of the vertices (vertices represent jobs, and colors represent physical machines). Edges, representing conflicts between jobs, are inserted in an online fashion. After every edge insertion, the algorithm must output a proper k-coloring of the vertices. The cost of recoloring a vertex is the vertex’s weight. Our aim is to minimize the competitive ratio of the algorithm, i.e., the ratio between the cost paid by the online algorithm and the cost paid by an optimal, offline algorithm. We consider a couple of polynomially-solvable coloring variants. Specifically, for 2-coloring bipartite graphs we present an O(log n) -competitive deterministic algorithm and an Ω (log n) lower bound on the competitive ratio of randomized algorithms. For (Δ + 1) -coloring, where Δ is the maximal node degree, we present tight bounds of Θ (Δ) and Θ (log Δ) on the competitive ratios of deterministic and randomized algorithms, respectively (where Δ denotes the maximum degree). We also consider the fully dynamic case which allows edge deletions as well as insertions. All our algorithms are applicable to the case where vertices are arbitrarily weighted, and all our lower bounds hold even in the uniform weights (unweighted) case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2001-2027
Number of pages27
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Anti-affinity constraints
  • Coloring with recourse
  • Online migration


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