Dynamic Windows Scheduling with Reallocation

Martin Farach-Colton, Katia Leal, Miguel A. Mosteiro, Christopher Thraves

We consider the Windows Scheduling problem. The problem is a restricted version of Unit-Fractions Bin Packing, and it is also called Inventory Replenishment in the context of Supply Chain. In brief, the problem is to schedule the use of communication channels to clients. Each client ci is characterized by an active cycle and a window wi. During the period of time that any given client ci is active, there must be at least one transmission from ci scheduled in any wi consecutive time slots, but at most one transmission can be carried out in each channel per time slot. The goal is to minimize the number of channels used. We extend previous online models, where decisions are permanent, assuming that clients may be reallocated at some cost. We assume that such cost is a constant amount paid per reallocation. That is, we aim to minimize also the number of reallocations. We present three online reallocation algorithms for Windows Scheduling. We evaluate experimentally these protocols showing that, in practice, all three achieve constant amortized reallocations with close to optimal channel usage. Our simulations also expose interesting trade-offs between reallocations and channel usage. We introduce a new objective function for WS with reallocations, that can be also applied to models where reallocations are not possible. We analyze this metric for one of the algorithms which, to the best of our knowledge, is the first online WS protocol with theoretical guarantees that applies to scenarios where clients may leave and the analysis is against current load rather than peak load. Using previous results, we also observe bounds on channel usage for one of the algorithms.

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