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Bicriteria Approximation Algorithms for the Submodular Cover Problem

Wenjing Chen · Victoria Crawford

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1117
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[ Paper [ Slides [ Poster [ OpenReview
Thu 14 Dec 8:45 a.m. PST — 10:45 a.m. PST

Abstract: In this paper, we consider the optimization problem Submodular Cover (SCP), which is to find a minimum cardinality subset of a finite universe $U$ such that the value of a submodular function $f$ is above an input threshold $\tau$. In particular, we consider several variants of SCP including the general case, the case where $f$ is additionally assumed to be monotone, and finally the case where $f$ is a regularized monotone submodular function. Our most significant contributions are that: (i) We propose a scalable algorithm for monotone SCP that achieves nearly the same approximation guarantees as the standard greedy algorithm in significantly faster time; (ii) We are the first to develop an algorithm for general SCP that achieves a solution arbitrarily close to being feasible; and finally (iii) we are the first to develop algorithms for regularized SCP. Our algorithms are then demonstrated to be effective in an extensive experimental section on data summarization and graph cut, two applications of SCP.

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