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Making Commitments in the Face of Uncertainty: How to Pick a Winner Almost Every Time
 

Summary: Making Commitments in the Face of Uncertainty:
How to Pick a Winner Almost Every Time
(Extended Abstract)
Baruch Awerbuch \Lambda Yossi Azar y Amos Fiat z Tom Leighton x
Abstract
In this paper, we formulate and provide optimal solu­
tions for a broad class of problems in which a decision­
maker is required to select from among numerous com­
peting options. The goal of the decision­maker is to
select the option that will have the best future perfor­
mance. This task is made difficult by the constraint
that the decision­maker has no way to predict the future
performance of any of the options. Somewhat surpris­
ingly, we find that the decision­maker can still (at least
in several important scenarios) pick a winner with high
probability.
Our result has several applications. For example,
consider the problem of scheduling background jobs on
a network of workstations (NOW) when very little is
known about the future speed or availability of each

  

Source: Azar, Yossi - School of Computer Science, Tel Aviv University
Fiat, Amos - School of Computer Science, Tel Aviv University

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences; Physics