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  1. Abstract

    We introduce and study a class of optimization problems we call replenishment problems with fixed turnover times: a very natural model that has received little attention in the literature. Clients with capacity for storing a certain commodity are located at various places; at each client the commodity depletes within a certain time, the turnover time, which is constant but can vary between locations. Clients should never run empty. The natural feature that makes this problem interesting is that we may schedule a replenishment (well) before a client becomes empty, but then the next replenishment will be due earlier also. This added workload needs to be balanced against the cost of routing vehicles to do the replenishments. In this paper, we focus on the aspect of minimizing routing costs. However, the framework of recurring tasks, in which the next job of a task must be done within a fixed amount of time after the previous one is much more general and gives an adequate model for many practical situations. Note that our problem has an infinite time horizon. However, it can be fully characterized by a compact input, containing only the location of each client and a turnover time. This makes determining its computational complexity highly challenging and indeed it remains essentially unresolved. We study the problem for two objectives:minavg  minimizes the average tour cost andminmax  minimizes the maximum tour cost over all days. Forminmax  we derive a logarithmic factor approximation for the problem on general metrics and a 6-approximation for the problem on trees, for which we have a proof of NP-hardness. Forminavg  we present a logarithmic factor approximation on general metrics, a 2-approximation for trees, and a pseudopolynomial time algorithm for the line. Many intriguing problems remain open.

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  2. Abstract

    We give a 2-approximation algorithm for the Maximum Agreement Forest problem on two rooted binary trees. This NP-hard problem has been studied extensively in the past two decades, since it can be used to compute the rooted Subtree Prune-and-Regraft (rSPR) distance between two phylogenetic trees. Our algorithm is combinatorial and its running time is quadratic in the input size. To prove the approximation guarantee, we construct a feasible dual solution for a novel exponential-size linear programming formulation. In addition, we show this linear program has a smaller integrality gap than previously known formulations, and we give an equivalent compact formulation, showing that it can be solved in polynomial time.

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  3. null (Ed.)
    Abstract We consider a natural generalization of classical scheduling problems to a setting in which using a time unit for processing a job causes some time-dependent cost, the time-of-use tariff, which must be paid in addition to the standard scheduling cost. We focus on preemptive single-machine scheduling and two classical scheduling cost functions, the sum of (weighted) completion times and the maximum completion time, that is, the makespan. While these problems are easy to solve in the classical scheduling setting, they are considerably more complex when time-of-use tariffs must be considered. We contribute optimal polynomial-time algorithms and best possible approximation algorithms. For the problem of minimizing the total (weighted) completion time on a single machine, we present a polynomial-time algorithm that computes for any given sequence of jobs an optimal schedule, i.e., the optimal set of time slots to be used for preemptively scheduling jobs according to the given sequence. This result is based on dynamic programming using a subtle analysis of the structure of optimal solutions and a potential function argument. With this algorithm, we solve the unweighted problem optimally in polynomial time. For the more general problem, in which jobs may have individual weights, we develop a polynomial-time approximation scheme (PTAS) based on a dual scheduling approach introduced for scheduling on a machine of varying speed. As the weighted problem is strongly NP-hard, our PTAS is the best possible approximation we can hope for. For preemptive scheduling to minimize the makespan, we show that there is a comparably simple optimal algorithm with polynomial running time. This is true even in a certain generalized model with unrelated machines. 
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