Separating online scheduling algorithms with the relative worst order ratio

Leah Epstein, Lene M. Favrholdt, Jens S. Kohrt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relative worst order ratio is a measure for the quality of online algorithms. Unlike the competitive ratio it compares algorithms directly without involving an optimal offline algorithm. The measure has been successfully applied to problems like paging and bin packing. In this paper we apply it to machine scheduling. We show that for preemptive scheduling the measure separates multiple pairs of algorithms which have the same competitive ratios; with the relative worst order ratio the algorithm which is "intuitively better" is also provably better. Moreover we show one such example for non-preemptive scheduling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-385
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Combinatorial Optimization
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Online algorithms
  • Relative worst order ratio
  • Scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Control and Optimization
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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