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60
Maximizing a Submodular Set Function subject to a Matroid Constraint (Extended Abstract)
 PROC. OF 12 TH IPCO
, 2007
"... Let f: 2 N → R + be a nondecreasing submodular set function, and let (N, I) be a matroid. We consider the problem maxS∈I f(S). It is known that the greedy algorithm yields a 1/2approximation [9] for this problem. It is also known, via a reduction from the maxkcover problem, that there is no (1 ..."
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Cited by 114 (12 self)
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Let f: 2 N → R + be a nondecreasing submodular set function, and let (N, I) be a matroid. We consider the problem maxS∈I f(S). It is known that the greedy algorithm yields a 1/2approximation [9] for this problem. It is also known, via a reduction from the maxkcover problem, that there is no (1 − 1/e + ɛ)approximation for any constant ɛ> 0, unless P = NP [6]. In this paper, we improve the 1/2approximation to a (1−1/e)approximation, when f is a sum of weighted rank functions of matroids. This class of functions captures a number of interesting problems including set coverage type problems. Our main tools are the pipage rounding technique of Ageev and Sviridenko [1] and a probabilistic lemma on monotone submodular functions that might be of independent interest. We show that the generalized assignment problem (GAP) is a special case of our problem; although the reduction requires N  to be exponential in the original problem size, we are able to interpret the recent (1 − 1/e)approximation for GAP by Fleischer et al. [10] in our framework. This enables us to obtain a (1 − 1/e)approximation for variants of GAP with more complex constraints.
On the Hardness of Being Truthful
 In 49th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS
, 2008
"... The central problem in computational mechanism design is the tension between incentive compatibility and computational ef ciency. We establish the rst significant approximability gap between algorithms that are both truthful and computationallyef cient, and algorithms that only achieve one of these ..."
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Cited by 64 (8 self)
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The central problem in computational mechanism design is the tension between incentive compatibility and computational ef ciency. We establish the rst significant approximability gap between algorithms that are both truthful and computationallyef cient, and algorithms that only achieve one of these two desiderata. This is shown in the context of a novel mechanism design problem which we call the COMBINATORIAL PUBLIC PROJECT PROBLEM (CPPP). CPPP is an abstraction of many common mechanism design situations, ranging from elections of kibbutz committees to network design. Our result is actually made up of two complementary results – one in the communicationcomplexity model and one in the computationalcomplexity model. Both these hardness results heavily rely on a combinatorial characterization of truthful algorithms for our problem. Our computationalcomplexity result is one of the rst impossibility results connecting mechanism design to complexity theory; its novel proof technique involves an application of the SauerShelah Lemma and may be of wider applicability, both within and without mechanism design. 1
Maximizing a Monotone Submodular Function subject to a Matroid Constraint
, 2008
"... Let f: 2 X → R+ be a monotone submodular set function, and let (X, I) be a matroid. We consider the problem maxS∈I f(S). It is known that the greedy algorithm yields a 1/2 approximation [14] for this problem. For certain special cases, e.g. max S≤k f(S), the greedy algorithm yields a (1 − 1/e)app ..."
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Cited by 63 (0 self)
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Let f: 2 X → R+ be a monotone submodular set function, and let (X, I) be a matroid. We consider the problem maxS∈I f(S). It is known that the greedy algorithm yields a 1/2 approximation [14] for this problem. For certain special cases, e.g. max S≤k f(S), the greedy algorithm yields a (1 − 1/e)approximation. It is known that this is optimal both in the value oracle model (where the only access to f is through a black box returning f(S) for a given set S) [28], and also for explicitly posed instances assuming P � = NP [10]. In this paper, we provide a randomized (1 − 1/e)approximation for any monotone submodular function and an arbitrary matroid. The algorithm works in the value oracle model. Our main tools are a variant of the pipage rounding technique of Ageev and Sviridenko [1], and a continuous greedy process that might be of independent interest. As a special case, our algorithm implies an optimal approximation for the Submodular Welfare Problem in the value oracle model [32]. As a second application, we show that the Generalized Assignment Problem (GAP) is also a special case; although the reduction requires X  to be exponential in the original problem size, we are able to achieve a (1 − 1/e − o(1))approximation for GAP, simplifying previously known algorithms. Additionally, the reduction enables us to obtain approximation algorithms for variants of GAP with more general constraints.
Submodular function maximization via the multilinear relaxation and contention resolution schemes
 IN ACM SYMPOSIUM ON THEORY OF COMPUTING
, 2011
"... We consider the problem of maximizing a nonnegative submodular set function f: 2 N → R+ over a ground set N subject to a variety of packing type constraints including (multiple) matroid constraints, knapsack constraints, and their intersections. In this paper we develop a general framework that all ..."
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Cited by 40 (2 self)
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We consider the problem of maximizing a nonnegative submodular set function f: 2 N → R+ over a ground set N subject to a variety of packing type constraints including (multiple) matroid constraints, knapsack constraints, and their intersections. In this paper we develop a general framework that allows us to derive a number of new results, in particular when f may be a nonmonotone function. Our algorithms are based on (approximately) solving the multilinear extension F of f [5] over a polytope P that represents the constraints, and then effectively rounding the fractional solution. Although this approach has been used quite successfully in some settings [6, 22, 24, 13, 3], it has been limited in some important ways. We overcome these limitations as follows. First, we give constant factor approximation algorithms to maximize
On the approximability of budgeted allocations and improved lower bounds for submodular welfare maximization and GAP
 In Proceedings of the 2008 49th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer ScienceVolume 00
, 2008
"... In this paper we consider the following maximum budgeted allocation(MBA) problem: Given a set of m indivisible items and n agents; each agent i willing to pay bij on item j and with a maximum budget of Bi, the goal is to allocate items to agents to maximize revenue. The problem naturally arises as a ..."
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Cited by 36 (3 self)
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In this paper we consider the following maximum budgeted allocation(MBA) problem: Given a set of m indivisible items and n agents; each agent i willing to pay bij on item j and with a maximum budget of Bi, the goal is to allocate items to agents to maximize revenue. The problem naturally arises as auctioneer revenue maximization in budgetconstrained auctions and as winner determination problem in combinatorial auctions when utilities of agents are budgetedadditive. Our main results are: • We give a 3/4approximation algorithm for MBA improving upon the previous best of ≃ 0.632[AM04, FV06]. Our techniques are based on a natural LP relaxation of MBA and our factor is optimal in the sense that it matches the integrality gap of the LP. • We prove it is NPhard to approximate MBA to any factor better than 15/16, previously only NPhardness was known [SS06, LLN01]. Our result also implies NPhardness of approximating maximum submodular welfare with demand oracle to a factor better than 15/16, improving upon the best known hardness of 275/276[FV06]. • Our hardness techniques can be modified to prove that it is NPhard to approximate the Generalized Assignment Problem (GAP) to any factor better than 10/11. This improves upon the 422/423 hardness of [CK00, CC02]. We use iterative rounding on a natural LP relaxation of MBA to obtain the 3/4approximation. We also give a (3/4 − ɛ)factor algorithm based on the primaldual schema which runs in Õ(nm) time, for any constant ɛ> 0. 1
Approximability of Combinatorial Problems with Multiagent Submodular Cost Functions
"... Abstract — Applications in complex systems such as the Internet have spawned recent interest in studying situations involving multiple agents with their individual cost or utility functions. In this paper, we introduce an algorithmic framework for studying combinatorial problems in the presence of m ..."
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Cited by 33 (6 self)
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Abstract — Applications in complex systems such as the Internet have spawned recent interest in studying situations involving multiple agents with their individual cost or utility functions. In this paper, we introduce an algorithmic framework for studying combinatorial problems in the presence of multiple agents with submodular cost functions. We study several fundamental covering problems (Vertex Cover, Shortest Path, Perfect Matching, and Spanning Tree) in this setting and establish tight upper and lower bounds for the approximability of these problems. 1.
Truthful assignment without money
 In Proceedings of the 11th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC
, 2010
"... We study the design of truthful mechanisms that do not use payments for the generalized assignment problem (GAP) and its variants. An instance of the GAP consists of a bipartite graph with jobs on one side and machines on the other. Machines have capacities and edges have values and sizes; the goal ..."
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Cited by 26 (0 self)
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We study the design of truthful mechanisms that do not use payments for the generalized assignment problem (GAP) and its variants. An instance of the GAP consists of a bipartite graph with jobs on one side and machines on the other. Machines have capacities and edges have values and sizes; the goal is to construct a welfare maximizing feasible assignment. In our model of private valuations, motivated by impossibility results, the value and sizes on all jobmachine pairs are public information; however, whether an edge exists or not in the bipartite graph is a job’s private information. That is, the selfish agents in our model are the jobs, and their private information is their edge set. We want to design mechanisms that are truthful without money (henceforth strategyproof), and produce assignments whose welfare
Limitations of VCGbased mechanisms
 In Proceedings of the 39th annual ACM symposium on Theory of computing
, 2007
"... We consider computationallyefficient incentivecompatible mechanisms that use the VCG payment scheme, and study how well they can approximate the social welfare in auction settings. We present a novel technique for setting lower bounds on the approximation ratio of this type of mechanisms. Specific ..."
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Cited by 24 (3 self)
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We consider computationallyefficient incentivecompatible mechanisms that use the VCG payment scheme, and study how well they can approximate the social welfare in auction settings. We present a novel technique for setting lower bounds on the approximation ratio of this type of mechanisms. Specifically, for combinatorial auctions among submodular (and thus also subadditive) bidders we prove an Ω(m 1 6) lower bound, which is close to the known upper bound of O(m 1 2), and qualitatively higher than the constant factor approximation possible from a purely computational point of view.
Approximation algorithms for secondary spectrum auctions
 In Proc. 23rd Symp. Parallelism in Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA
, 2011
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