Fair Hitting Sequence Problem: Scheduling Activities with Varied Frequency Requirements

Serafino Cicerone, Gabriele Di Stefano, Leszek Gasieniec, Tomasz Jurdzinski, Alfredo Navarra, Tomasz Radzik, Grzegorz Stachowiak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Given a set of n elements and a family of (possibly intersecting) subsets of V, we consider a scheduling problem of perpetual monitoring (attending) these subsets. In each time step one element of V is visited, and all sets in containing v are considered to be attended during this step. That is, we assume that it is enough to visit an arbitrary element in to attend to this whole set. Each set has an urgency factor , which indicates how frequently this set should be attended relatively to other sets. Let denote the time slot when set is attended for the i-th time. The objective is to find a perpetual schedule of visiting the elements of V, so that the maximum value is minimized. The value indicates how urgent it was to attend to set at the time slot. We call this problem the Fair Hitting Sequence (FHS) problem, as it is related to the minimum hitting set problem. In fact, the uniform FHS, when all urgency factors are equal, is equivalent to the minimum hitting set problem, implying that there is a constant such that it is NP-hard to compute -approximation schedules for FHS. We demonstrate that scheduling based on one hitting set can give poor approximation ratios, even if an optimal hitting set is used. To counter this, we design a deterministic algorithm which partitions the family into sub-families and combines hitting sets of those sub-families, giving -approximate schedules. Finally, we show an LP-based lower bound on the optimal objective value of FHS and use this bound to derive a randomized algorithm which with high probability computes -approximate schedules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAlgorithms and Complexity - 11th International Conference, CIAC 2019, Proceedings
EditorsPinar Heggernes
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783030174019
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event11th International Conference on Algorithms and Complexity, CIAC 2019 - Rome, Italy
Duration: May 27 2019May 29 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11485 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference11th International Conference on Algorithms and Complexity, CIAC 2019


  • Approximation algorithms
  • Hitting set
  • Periodic maintenance
  • Scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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