Online Matching with Stochastic Rewards: Advanced Analyses Using Configuration Linear Programs

by   Zhiyi Huang, et al.

Mehta and Panigrahi (2012) proposed Online Matching with Stochastic Rewards, which generalizes the Online Bipartite Matching problem of Karp, Vazirani, and Vazirani (1990) by associating the edges with success probabilities. This new feature captures the pay-per-click model in online advertising. Recently, Huang and Zhang (2020) studied this problem under the online primal dual framework using the Configuration Linear Program (LP), and got the best known competitive ratios of the Stochastic Balance algorithm. Their work suggests that the more expressive Configuration LP is more suitable for this problem than the Matching LP. This paper advances the theory of Configuration LP in two directions. Our technical contribution includes a characterization of the joint matching outcome of an offline vertex and all its neighbors. This characterization may be of independent interest, and is aligned with the spirit of Configuration LP. By contrast, previous analyses of Ranking generally focus on only one neighbor. Second, we designed a Stochastic Configuration LP that captures a stochastic benchmark proposed by Goyal and Udwani (2020), who used a Path-based LP. The Stochastic Configuration LP is smaller and simpler than the Path-based LP. Moreover, using the new LP we improved the competitive ratio of Stochastic Balance from 0.596 to 0.611 when the success probabilities are infinitesimal, and to 0.613 when the success probabilities are further equal.


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