How much is it worth to know the future in online conversion problems?

  • Mohr E
  • Schmidt G
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We answer this question using the competitive ratio as an indicator for the quality of information about the future. Analytical results show that the better the information the better the worst-case competitive ratios. However, experimental analysis gives a slightly different view. We calculate the empirical-case competitive ratios of different variants of a threat-based online algorithm. The results are based on historical data of the German Dax-30 index. We compare our experimental empirical-case results to the analytical worst-case results given in the literature. We show that better information does not always lead to a better performance in real life applications. The empirical-case competitive ratio is not always better with better information, and some a-priori information is more valuable than other for practical settings. © © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Competitive analysis
  • Empirical-case analysis
  • One-way trading
  • Online algorithms
  • Uni-directional algorithm
  • Worst-case analysis

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