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An Algorithmic Characterization of Antimatroids
In an article entitled "Optimal sequencing of a single machine subject to precedence constraints," E.L. Lawler presented a now classical minmax result for job scheduling. In essence, Lawler's proof demonstrated that the properties of partially ordered sets were sufficient to solve the posed scheduling problem. These properties are, in fact, common to a more general class of combinatorial structures known as antimatroids, which have recently received considerable attention in the literature. It is demonstrated that the properties of antimatroids are not only sufficient but necessary to solve the scheduling problem posed by Lawler, thus yielding an algorithmic characterization of antimatroids. Examples of problems solvable by the general result are provided....