Discrete-Smoothness in Online Algorithms with Predictions

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yossi Azar, Debmalya Panigrahi, Noam Touitou


In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on designing online algorithms with (machine-learned) predictions. The ideal learning-augmented algorithm is comparable to the optimum when given perfect predictions (consistency), to the best online approximation for arbitrary predictions (robustness), and should interpolate between these extremes as a smooth function of the prediction error. In this paper, we quantify these guarantees in terms of a general property that we call discrete-smoothness, and achieve discrete-smooth algorithms for online covering, specifically the facility location and set cover problems. For set cover, our work improves the results of Bamas, Maggiori, and Svensson (2020) by augmenting consistency and robustness with smoothness guarantees. For facility location, our work improves on prior work by Almanza et al. (2021) by generalizing to nonuniform costs and also providing smoothness guarantees by augmenting consistency and robustness.