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146
Proof verification and hardness of approximation problems
 IN PROC. 33RD ANN. IEEE SYMP. ON FOUND. OF COMP. SCI
, 1992
"... We show that every language in NP has a probablistic verifier that checks membership proofs for it using logarithmic number of random bits and by examining a constant number of bits in the proof. If a string is in the language, then there exists a proof such that the verifier accepts with probabilit ..."
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Cited by 797 (39 self)
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We show that every language in NP has a probablistic verifier that checks membership proofs for it using logarithmic number of random bits and by examining a constant number of bits in the proof. If a string is in the language, then there exists a proof such that the verifier accepts with probability 1 (i.e., for every choice of its random string). For strings not in the language, the verifier rejects every provided “proof " with probability at least 1/2. Our result builds upon and improves a recent result of Arora and Safra [6] whose verifiers examine a nonconstant number of bits in the proof (though this number is a very slowly growing function of the input length). As a consequence we prove that no MAX SNPhard problem has a polynomial time approximation scheme, unless NP=P. The class MAX SNP was defined by Papadimitriou and Yannakakis [82] and hard problems for this class include vertex cover, maximum satisfiability, maximum cut, metric TSP, Steiner trees and shortest superstring. We also improve upon the clique hardness results of Feige, Goldwasser, Lovász, Safra and Szegedy [42], and Arora and Safra [6] and shows that there exists a positive ɛ such that approximating the maximum clique size in an Nvertex graph to within a factor of N ɛ is NPhard.
Complexity and Approximation
, 1999
"... Abstract. In this survey the following model is considered. We assume that an instance I of a computationally hard optimization problem has been solved and that we know the optimum solution of such instance. Then a new instance I ′ is proposed, obtained by means of a slight perturbation of instance ..."
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Cited by 194 (1 self)
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Abstract. In this survey the following model is considered. We assume that an instance I of a computationally hard optimization problem has been solved and that we know the optimum solution of such instance. Then a new instance I ′ is proposed, obtained by means of a slight perturbation of instance I. How can we exploit the knowledge we have on the solution of instance I to compute a (approximate) solution of instance I ′ in an efficient way? This computation model is called reoptimization and is of practical interest in various circumstances. In this article we first discuss what kind of performance we can expect for specific classes of problems and then we present some classical optimization problems (i.e. Max Knapsack, Min Steiner Tree, Scheduling) in which this approach has been fruitfully applied. Subsequently, we address vehicle routing problems and we show how the reoptimization approach can be used to obtain good approximate solution in an efficient way for some of these problems. 1
The Traveling Salesman Problem and Its Variations
, 2002
"... Introduction The Maximum Traveling Salesman Problem (MAX TSP), also known informally as the "taxicab ripoff problem", is stated as follows: Given an n \Theta n real matrix c = (c ij ), called a weight matrix, find a hamiltonian cycle i 1 7! i 2 7! : : : 7! i n 7! i 1 , for which the maxi ..."
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Cited by 136 (5 self)
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Introduction The Maximum Traveling Salesman Problem (MAX TSP), also known informally as the "taxicab ripoff problem", is stated as follows: Given an n \Theta n real matrix c = (c ij ), called a weight matrix, find a hamiltonian cycle i 1 7! i 2 7! : : : 7! i n 7! i 1 , for which the maximum value of c i 1 i 2 + c i 2 i 3 + : : : + c i n\Gamma1 i n + c i n i 1 is attained. Here (i 1 ; : : : ; i n ) is a permutation of the set f1; : : : ; ng. Of course, in this general setting, the Maximum Traveling Salesman Problem is equivalent to the Minimum Traveling Salesman Problem, Partially supported by NSF Grant DMS 9734138 since the maximum weight hamiltonian cycle with the weight matrix c corresponds to the minimum weight hamiltonian cycle with the weight matrix \Gammac. What makes the MAX TSP special is that there are some interesting and natural special cases of weights c ij , not preserved by the sign reversal, where much more can be said about the problem than in the general case. Be
On Syntactic versus Computational Views of Approximability
, 1994
"... We attempt to reconcile the two distinct views of approximation classes: syntactic and computational. Syntactic classes such as MAX SNP permit structural results and have natural complete problems, while computational classes such as APX allow us to work with classes of problems whose approximabilit ..."
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Cited by 126 (10 self)
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We attempt to reconcile the two distinct views of approximation classes: syntactic and computational. Syntactic classes such as MAX SNP permit structural results and have natural complete problems, while computational classes such as APX allow us to work with classes of problems whose approximability is wellunderstood. Our results provide a syntactic characterization of computational classes, and give a computational framework for syntactic classes. We compare the syntactically defined class MAX SNP with the computationally defined class APX, and show that every problem in APX can be “placed" (i.e. has approximation preserving reduction to a problem) in MAX SNP. Our methods introduce a general technique for creating approximationpreserving reductions which show that any “well ” approximable problem can be reduced in an approximationpreserving manner to a problem which is hard to approximate to corresponding factors. We demonstrate this technique by applying it to the classes RMAX(2) and MIN F+n2 (1) which have the clique problem and the set cover problem, respectively, as complete problems. We use the syntactic nature of MAX SNP to define a general paradigm, nonoblivious local search, useful for developing simple yet efficient approximation algorithms. We show that such algorithms can find good approximations for all MAX SNP problems, yielding approximution ratios comparable to the bestknown for a variety of specific MAX SNPhard problem. Nonoblivious local search provably outperforms standard local search in both the degree of approximation achieved and the efficiency of the resulting algorithms.
Hardness Of Approximations
, 1996
"... This chapter is a selfcontained survey of recent results about the hardness of approximating NPhard optimization problems. ..."
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Cited by 117 (5 self)
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This chapter is a selfcontained survey of recent results about the hardness of approximating NPhard optimization problems.
The minimum latency problem
 IN PROCEEDINGS OF THE SYMPOSIUM ON THEORY OF COMPUTING
, 1994
"... We are given a set of points pl,...,p. and a symmetric distance matrix (o!ij) giving the distance between pi and pj. We wish to construct a tour that minimizes ~~=1 1(z), where l(i) is ..."
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Cited by 94 (4 self)
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We are given a set of points pl,...,p. and a symmetric distance matrix (o!ij) giving the distance between pi and pj. We wish to construct a tour that minimizes ~~=1 1(z), where l(i) is
Linear Approximation of Shortest Superstrings
, 1991
"... We consider the following problem: given a collection of strings s 1 ; . . . ; s m , find the shortest string s such that each s i appears as a substring (a consecutive block) of s. Although this problem is known to be NPhard, a simple greedy procedure appears to do quite well and is routinely used ..."
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Cited by 77 (5 self)
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We consider the following problem: given a collection of strings s 1 ; . . . ; s m , find the shortest string s such that each s i appears as a substring (a consecutive block) of s. Although this problem is known to be NPhard, a simple greedy procedure appears to do quite well and is routinely used in DNA sequencing and data compression practice, namely: repeatedly merge the pair of distinct strings with maximum overlap until only one string remains. Let n denote the length of the optimal superstring. A common conjecture states that the above greedy procedure produces a superstring of length O(n) (in fact, 2n), yet the only previous nontrivial bound known for any polynomialtime algorithm is a recent O(n log n) result. We show that the greedy algorithm does in fact achieve a constant factor approximation, proving an upper bound of 4n. Furthermore, we present a simple modified version of the greedy algorithm that we show produces a superstring of length at most 3n. We also show the sup...
On Approximating the Longest Path in a Graph
 Algorithmica
, 1993
"... We consider the problem of approximating the longest path in undirected graphs. In an attempt to pin down the best achievable performance ratio of an approximation algorithm for this problem, we present both positive and negative results. First, a simple greedy algorithm is shown to find long paths ..."
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Cited by 72 (4 self)
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We consider the problem of approximating the longest path in undirected graphs. In an attempt to pin down the best achievable performance ratio of an approximation algorithm for this problem, we present both positive and negative results. First, a simple greedy algorithm is shown to find long paths in dense graphs. We then consider the problem of finding paths in graphs that are guaranteed to have extremely long paths. We devise an algorithm that finds paths of a logarithmic length in Hamiltonian graphs. This algorithm works for a much larger class of graphs (weakly Hamiltonian), where the result is the best possible. Since the hard case appears to be that of sparse graphs, we also consider sparse random graphs. Here we show that a relatively long path can be obtained, thereby partially answering an open problem of Broder, Frieze and Shamir. To explain the difficulty of obtaining better approximations, we also prove hardness results. We show that, for any ffl ! 1, the problem of findin...
Approximation Algorithms for Asymmetric TSP by Decomposing Directed Regular Multigraphs
, 2006
"... A directed multigraph is said to be dregular if the indegree and outdegree of every vertexis exactly d. By Hall's theorem one can represent such a multigraph as a combination of atmost n2 cycle covers each taken with an appropriate multiplicity. We prove that if the dregular multigraph does ..."
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Cited by 67 (2 self)
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A directed multigraph is said to be dregular if the indegree and outdegree of every vertexis exactly d. By Hall's theorem one can represent such a multigraph as a combination of atmost n2 cycle covers each taken with an appropriate multiplicity. We prove that if the dregular multigraph does not contain more than b d/2c copies of any 2cycle then we can find asimilar decomposition into n2 pairs of cycle covers where each 2cycle occurs in at most onecomponent of each pair. Our proof is constructive and gives a polynomial algorithm to find such a decomposition. Since our applications only need one such a pair of cycle covers whoseweight is at least the average weight of all pairs, we also give an alternative, simpler algorithm to extract a single such pair.This combinatorial theorem then comes handy in rounding a fractional solution of an LP relaxation of the maximum Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) problem. The first stage of therounding procedure obtains 2cycle covers that do not share a 2cycle with weight at least twice the weight of the optimal solution. Then we show how to extract a tour from the 2 cycle covers,whose weight is at least 2 /3 of the weight of the longest tour. This improves upon the previous5/8 approximation with a simpler algorithm. Utilizing a reduction from maximum TSP to the shortest superstring problem we obtain a 2.5approximation algorithm for the latter problemwhich is again much simpler than the previous one. For minimum asymmetric TSP the same technique gives 2cycle covers, not sharing a 2cycle, with weight at most twice the weight of the optimum. Assuming triangle inequality, we then show how to obtain from this pair of cycle covers a tour whose weight is at most0.842 log2 n larger than optimal. This improves upon a previous approximation algorithm with approximation guarantee of 0.999 log2 n. Other applications of the rounding procedure are approximation algorithms for maximum 3cycle cover (factor 2/3, previously 3/5) and maximum
Efficient Checking of Polynomials and Proofs and the Hardness of Approximation Problems
, 1992
"... The definition of the class NP [Coo71, Lev73] highlights the problem of verification of proofs as one of central interest to theoretical computer science. Recent efforts have shown that the efficiency of the verification can be greatly improved by allowing the verifier access to random bits and acce ..."
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Cited by 65 (8 self)
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The definition of the class NP [Coo71, Lev73] highlights the problem of verification of proofs as one of central interest to theoretical computer science. Recent efforts have shown that the efficiency of the verification can be greatly improved by allowing the verifier access to random bits and accepting probabilistic guarantees from the verifier [BFL91, BFLS91, FGL + 91, AS92]. We improve upon the efficiency of the proof systems developed above and obtain proofs which can be verified probabilistically by examining only a constant number of (randomly chosen) bits of the proof. The efficiently verifiable proofs constructed here rely on the structural properties of lowdegree polynomials. We explore the properties of these functions by examining some simple and basic questions about them. We consider questions of the form: • (testing) Given an oracle for a function f, is f close to a lowdegree polynomial? • (correcting) Let f be close to a lowdegree polynomial g, is it possible to efficiently reconstruct the value of g on any given input using an oracle for f? 2 The questions described above have been raised before in the context of coding theory as the problems of errordetecting and errorcorrecting of codes. More recently