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Dynamic Relaxations for Online Bipartite Matching

Research paper by Alfredo Torrico, Alejandro Toriello

Indexed on: 21 Dec '18Published on: 21 Dec '18Published in: arXiv - Mathematics - Optimization and Control



Abstract

Online bipartite matching (OBM) is a fundamental model underpinning many important applications, including search engine advertisement, website banner and pop-up ads, and ride-hailing. We study the i.i.d. OBM problem, where one side of the bipartition is fixed and known in advance, while nodes from the other side appear sequentially as i.i.d. realizations of an underlying distribution, and must immediately be matched or discarded. We introduce dynamic relaxations of the set of achievable matching probabilities, show how they theoretically dominate lower-dimensional, static relaxations from previous work, and perform a polyhedral study to theoretically examine the new relaxations' strength. We also discuss how to derive heuristic policies from the relaxations' dual prices, in a similar fashion to dynamic resource prices used in network revenue management. We finally present a computational study to demonstrate the empirical quality of the new relaxations and policies.