Concept

Competitive analysis (online algorithm)

Résumé
Competitive analysis is a method invented for analyzing online algorithms, in which the performance of an online algorithm (which must satisfy an unpredictable sequence of requests, completing each request without being able to see the future) is compared to the performance of an optimal offline algorithm that can view the sequence of requests in advance. An algorithm is competitive if its competitive ratio—the ratio between its performance and the offline algorithm's performance—is bounded. Unlike traditional worst-case analysis, where the performance of an algorithm is measured only for "hard" inputs, competitive analysis requires that an algorithm perform well both on hard and easy inputs, where "hard" and "easy" are defined by the performance of the optimal offline algorithm. For many algorithms, performance is dependent not only on the size of the inputs, but also on their values. For example, sorting an array of elements varies in difficulty depending on the initial order. S
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