Scheduling Unrelated Machines by Randomized Rounding. Schulz, A. S. and Skutella, M. SIAM J. Discret. Math., 15(4):450--469, 2002.
Scheduling Unrelated Machines by Randomized Rounding [link]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
We present a new class of randomized approximation algorithms for unrelated parallel machine scheduling problems with the average weighted completion time objective. The key idea is to assign jobs randomly to machines with probabilities derived from an optimal solution to a linear programming (LP) relaxation in time-indexed variables. Our main results are a \$(2+{\textbackslash}varepsilon)\$-approximation algorithm for the model with individual job release dates and a \$(3/2+{\textbackslash}varepsilon)\$-approximation algorithm if all jobs are released simultaneously. We obtain corresponding bounds on the quality of the LP relaxation. It is an interesting implication for identical parallel machine scheduling that jobs are randomly assigned to machines, in which each machine is equally likely. In addition, in this case the algorithm has running time O(n log n) and performance guarantee 2. Moreover, the approximation result for identical parallel machine scheduling applies to the on-line setting in which jobs arrive over time as well, with no difference in performance guarantee.
@article{schulz_scheduling_2002,
	title = {Scheduling {Unrelated} {Machines} by {Randomized} {Rounding}},
	volume = {15},
	url = {http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=587931#},
	abstract = {We present a new class of randomized approximation algorithms for unrelated parallel machine scheduling problems with the average weighted completion time objective. The key idea is to assign jobs randomly to machines with probabilities derived from an optimal solution to a linear programming (LP) relaxation in time-indexed variables. Our main results are a \$(2+{\textbackslash}varepsilon)\$-approximation algorithm for the model with individual job release dates and a \$(3/2+{\textbackslash}varepsilon)\$-approximation algorithm if all jobs are released simultaneously. We obtain corresponding bounds on the quality of the LP relaxation. It is an interesting implication for identical parallel machine scheduling that jobs are randomly assigned to machines, in which each machine is equally likely. In addition, in this case the algorithm has running time O(n log n) and performance guarantee 2. Moreover, the approximation result for identical parallel machine scheduling applies to the on-line setting in which jobs arrive over time as well, with no difference in performance guarantee.},
	number = {4},
	urldate = {2008-12-03TZ},
	journal = {SIAM J. Discret. Math.},
	author = {Schulz, Andreas S. and Skutella, Martin},
	year = {2002},
	keywords = {approximation algorithms, linear programming relaxation, on-line algorithm, randomized rounding},
	pages = {450--469}
}
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