On bin packing with clustering and bin packing with delays

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We continue the study of two recently introduced bin packing type problems, called bin packing with clustering, and online bin packing with delays. A bin packing input consists of items of sizes not larger than 1, and the goal is to partition or pack them into bins, where the total size of items of every valid bin cannotexceed 1. In bin packing with clustering, items also have colors associated with them. A globally optimal solution can combine items of different colors into bins, while a clustered solution can only pack monochromatic bins. The goal is to compare a globally optimal solution to an optimal clustered solution, under certain constraints on the coloring provided with the input. We show close bounds on the worst-case ratio between these two costs, called the price of clustering, improving and simplifying previous results. Specifically, we show that the price of clustering does not exceed 1.93667, improving over the previous upper bound of 1.951, and that it is at least 1.93558, improving over the previous lower bound of 1.93344. In online bin packing with delays, items are presented over time. Items may wait to be packed, and an algorithm can create a new bin at any time, packing a subset of already existing unpacked items into it, under the condition that the bin is valid. A created bin cannot be used again in the future, and all items have to be packed into bins eventually. The objective is to minimize the number of used bins plus the sum of waiting costs of all items, called delays. We build on previous work and modify a simple phase-based algorithm. We combine the modification with a careful analysis to improve the previously known competitive ratio from 3.951 to below 3.1551.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100647
JournalDiscrete Optimization
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bin packing
  • Clustering
  • Delay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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