Departmental Papers (CIS)

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Document Type

Journal Article


Postprint version. Copyright SIAM, 2004. Published in SIAM Journal on Computing, Volume 33, Issue 4, 2004, pages 837-851.
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We study the approximability of multi-dimensional generalizations of three classical packing problems: multiprocessor scheduling, bin packing, and the knapsack problem. Specifically, we study the vector scheduling problem, its dual problem, namely, the vector bin packing problem, and a class of packing integer programs. The vector scheduling problem is to schedule n d-dimensional tasks on m machines such that the maximum load over all dimensions and all machines is minimized. The vector bin packing problem, on the other hand, seeks to minimize the number of bins needed to schedule all n tasks such that the maximum load on any dimension accross all bins is bounded by a fixed quantity, say 1. Such problems naturally arise when scheduling tasks that have multiple resource requirements. Finally, packing integer programs capture a core problem that directly relates to both vector scheduling and vector bin packing, namely, the problem of packing a miximum number of vectors in a single bin of unit height. We obtain a variety of new algorithmic as well as inapproximability results for these three problems.


Multi-dimensional packing, vector scheduling, vector bin packing, packing integer programs, multiprocessor scheduling, bin packing, knapsack, approximation algorithms, hardness of approximation, combinatorial optimization



Date Posted: 11 March 2005

This document has been peer reviewed.