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**1 - 6**of**6**### APPROXIMATION ALGORITHMS FOR SUBMODULAR OPTIMIZATION AND GRAPH PROBLEMS

, 2013

"... In this thesis, we consider combinatorial optimization problems involving submodular functions and graphs. The problems we study are NP-hard and therefore, assuming that P 6 = NP, there do not exist polynomial-time algorithms that always output an optimal solution. In order to cope with the intracta ..."

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In this thesis, we consider combinatorial optimization problems involving submodular functions and graphs. The problems we study are NP-hard and therefore, assuming that P 6 = NP, there do not exist polynomial-time algorithms that always output an optimal solution. In order to cope with the intractability of these problems, we focus on algorithms that construct approximate solutions: An approximation algorithm is a polynomial-time algorithm that, for any instance of the problem, it outputs a solution whose value is within a multiplicative factor ρ of the value of the optimal solution for the instance. The quantity ρ is the approximation ratio of the algorithm and we aim to achieve the smallest ratio possible. Our focus in this thesis is on designing approximation algorithms for several combinatorial optimization problems. In the first part of this thesis, we study a class of constrained submodular minimization problems. We introduce a model that captures allocation problems with submodular costs and we give a generic approach for designing approximation algorithms for problems in this model. Our model captures several problems of interest, such as non-metric facility location, multiway cut problems in graphs and hypergraphs, uniform metric labeling and its generalization

### Dynamic Facility Location via Exponential Clocks∗

"... The dynamic facility location problem is a generalization of the classic facility location problem proposed by Eisenstat, Mathieu, and Schabanel to model the dynamics of evolving social/infrastructure networks. The generalization lies in that the distance metric between clients and facilities change ..."

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The dynamic facility location problem is a generalization of the classic facility location problem proposed by Eisenstat, Mathieu, and Schabanel to model the dynamics of evolving social/infrastructure networks. The generalization lies in that the distance metric between clients and facilities changes over time. This leads to a trade-off between optimizing the classic objective function and the “stability ” of the solution: there is a switching cost charged every time a client changes the facility to which it is connected. While the standard linear program (LP) relaxation for the classic problem naturally extends to this problem, traditional LP-rounding techniques do not, as they are often sensitive to small changes in the metric resulting in frequent switches. We present a new LP-rounding algorithm for facility location problems, which yields the first con-stant approximation algorithm for the dynamic facility location problem. Our algorithm installs compet-ing exponential clocks on the clients and facilities, and connect every client by the path that repeatedly follows the smallest clock in the neighborhood. The use of exponential clocks gives rise to several properties that distinguish our approach from previous LP-roundings for facility location problems. In particular, we use no clustering and we allow clients to connect through paths of arbitrary lengths. In fact, the clustering-free nature of our algorithm is crucial for applying our LP-rounding approach to the dynamic problem.