## 68-XX COMPUTER SCIENCE (For papers involving machine computations and programs in a specific mathematical area, see Section -04 in that area)

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In the last 20 years competitive analysis has become the main tool for
analyzing the quality of online algorithms. Despite of this,
competitive analysis has also been criticized: It sometimes cannot
discriminate between algorithms that exhibit significantly different
empirical behavior, or it even favors an algorithm that is worse from
an empirical point of view. Therefore, there have been several
approaches to circumvent these drawbacks. In this survey, we discuss
probabilistic alternatives for competitive analysis.

This paper proposes a new method for probabilistic analysis of online algorithms. It is based on the notion of stochastic dominance. We develop the method for
the online bin coloring problem introduced by Krumke et al (2008). Using methods for the stochastic
comparison of Markov chains we establish the result that the performance of the online algorithm GreedyFit is stochastically better than the performance of the algorithm OneBin for any number of items processed. This result gives a more realistic
picture than competitive analysis and explains the behavior observed in simulations.