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Online algorithms for finger searching

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2 Author(s)
Cole, Richard ; Courant Inst., New York Univ., NY, USA ; Raghunathan, A.

The technique of speeding up access into search structures by maintaining fingers that point to various locations of the search structure is considered. The problem of choosing, in a large search structure, locations at which to maintain fingers is treated. In particular, a server problem in which k servers move along a line segment of length m, where m is the number of keys in the search structure, is addressed. Since fingers may be arbitrarily copied, a server is allowed to jump, or fork, to a location currently occupied by another server. Online algorithms are presented and their competitiveness analyzed. It is shown that the case in which k=2 behaves differently from the case in which k⩾3, by showing that there is a four-competitive algorithm for k=2 that never forks its fingers. For k⩾3, it is shown that any online algorithm that does not fork its fingers can be at most Ω(m1/2)-competitive. The main result is that for k=3 there is an online algorithm that forks and is constant competitive (independent of m, the size of the search structure). The algorithm is simple and implementable

Published in:

Foundations of Computer Science, 1990. Proceedings., 31st Annual Symposium on

Date of Conference:

22-24 Oct 1990

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