Online Bin Packing with Predictions

Spyros Angelopoulos, Shahin Kamali, Kimia Shadkami

Bin packing is a classic optimization problem with a wide range of applications from load balancing in networks to supply chain management. In this work we study the online variant of the problem, in which a sequence of items of various sizes must be placed into a minimum number of bins of uniform capacity. The online algorithm is enhanced with a (potentially erroneous) prediction concerning the frequency of item sizes in the sequence. We design and analyze online algorithms with efficient tradeoffs between their consistency (i.e., the competitive ratio assuming no prediction error) and their robustness (i.e., the competitive ratio under adversarial error), and whose performance degrades gently as a function of the error. Previous work on this problem has only addressed the extreme cases with respect to the prediction error, and has relied on overly powerful and error-free prediction oracles.

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