License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0)
When quoting this document, please refer to the following
DOI: 10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2023.47
URN: urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-180992
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Disser, Yann ; Klimm, Max ; Schewior, Kevin ; Weckbecker, David

Incremental Maximization via Continuization

LIPIcs-ICALP-2023-47.pdf (0.8 MB)


We consider the problem of finding an incremental solution to a cardinality-constrained maximization problem that not only captures the solution for a fixed cardinality, but also describes how to gradually grow the solution as the cardinality bound increases. The goal is to find an incremental solution that guarantees a good competitive ratio against the optimum solution for all cardinalities simultaneously. The central challenge is to characterize maximization problems where this is possible, and to determine the best-possible competitive ratio that can be attained. A lower bound of 2.18 and an upper bound of φ + 1 ≈ 2.618 are known on the competitive ratio for monotone and accountable objectives [Bernstein et al., Math. Prog., 2022], which capture a wide range of maximization problems. We introduce a continuization technique and identify an optimal incremental algorithm that provides strong evidence that φ + 1 is the best-possible competitive ratio. Using this continuization, we obtain an improved lower bound of 2.246 by studying a particular recurrence relation whose characteristic polynomial has complex roots exactly beyond the lower bound. Based on the optimal continuous algorithm combined with a scaling approach, we also provide a 1.772-competitive randomized algorithm. We complement this by a randomized lower bound of 1.447 via Yao’s principle.

BibTeX - Entry

  author =	{Disser, Yann and Klimm, Max and Schewior, Kevin and Weckbecker, David},
  title =	{{Incremental Maximization via Continuization}},
  booktitle =	{50th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2023)},
  pages =	{47:1--47:17},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-95977-278-5},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2023},
  volume =	{261},
  editor =	{Etessami, Kousha and Feige, Uriel and Puppis, Gabriele},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-180992},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2023.47},
  annote =	{Keywords: incremental optimization, competitive analysis, robust matching, submodular function}

Keywords: incremental optimization, competitive analysis, robust matching, submodular function
Collection: 50th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2023)
Issue Date: 2023
Date of publication: 05.07.2023

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