How Much is Location Information Worth? A Competitive Analysis of the Online Traveling Salesman Problem with Two Disclosure Dates

27 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2008

See all articles by F. Jordan Srour

F. Jordan Srour

Lebanese American University - Department of Information Technology and Operations Management

Rob Zuidwijk

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: November 13, 2008

Abstract

In this paper we derive the worst-case ratio of an online algorithm for the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) with two disclosure dates. This problem, a variant of the online TSP with release dates, is characterized by the disclosure of a job's location at one point in time followed by the disclosure of that job's release date at a later point in time. We present an online algorithm for this problem restricted to the positive real number line. We then derive the worst-case ratio of our algorithm and show that it is best-possible in two contexts - the first, one in which the amount of time between the disclosure events and release time are fixed and equal for all jobs; and a second in which the time between disclosure events varies for each job. We conclude that the value of advanced information can be attributed to the location information alone - yielding an optimal solution in favorable instances.

Keywords: traveling salesman, advanced information, competitive ratio, worst-case ratio, online routing

JEL Classification: M11, R4, M

Suggested Citation

Srour, Faith Jordan and Zuidwijk, Rob A., How Much is Location Information Worth? A Competitive Analysis of the Online Traveling Salesman Problem with Two Disclosure Dates (November 13, 2008). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2008-075-LIS, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1303922

Faith Jordan Srour (Contact Author)

Lebanese American University - Department of Information Technology and Operations Management ( email )

Shannon Hall, 3106
Chouran Beirut, 1102 2801
Lebanon

Rob A. Zuidwijk

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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