Online facility assignment

Abu Reyan Ahmed, Md Saidur Rahman, Stephen Kobourov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We consider the online facility assignment problem, with a set of facilities F of equal capacity l in metric space and customers arriving one by one in an online manner. We must assign customer ci to facility fj before the next customer ci+1 arrives. The cost of this assignment is the distance between ci and fj. The total number of customers is at most |F|l and each customer must be assigned to a facility. The objective is to minimize the sum of all assignment costs. We first consider the case where facilities are placed on a line so that the distance between adjacent facilities is the same and customers appear anywhere on the line. We describe a greedy algorithm with competitive ratio 4|F| and another one with competitive ratio |F|. We also consider a slightly more general situation where different facilities may have different capacities. Finally, we study a variant of the online facility assignment problem in which the facilities are placed on the vertices of a graph and present two algorithms for that setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-467
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
StatePublished - Feb 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Greedy algorithms
  • Online facility assignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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