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Publication# The double exponential runtime is tight for 2-stage stochastic ILPs

Abstract

We consider fundamental algorithmic number theoretic problems and their relation to a class of block structured Integer Linear Programs (ILPs) called 2-stage stochastic. A 2-stage stochastic ILP is an integer program of the form min{c(T)x vertical bar Ax = b, l

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Number

A number is a mathematical object used to count, measure, and label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with number words.

Problem solving

Problem solving is the process of achieving a goal by overcoming obstacles, a frequent part of most activities. Problems in need of solutions range from simple personal tasks (e.g. how to turn on an a

Linear programming

Linear programming (LP), also called linear optimization, is a method to achieve the best outcome (such as maximum profit or lowest cost) in a mathematical model whose requirements are represented

Many of the currently best-known approximation algorithms for NP-hard optimization problems are based on Linear Programming (LP) and Semi-definite Programming (SDP) relaxations. Given its power, this class of algorithms seems to contain the most favourable candidates for outperforming the current state-of-the-art approximation guarantees for NP-hard problems, for which there still exists a gap between the inapproximability results and the approximation guarantees that we know how to achieve in polynomial time. In this thesis, we address both the power and the limitations of these relaxations, as well as the connection between the shortcomings of these relaxations and the inapproximability of the underlying problem. In the first part, we study the limitations of LP relaxations of well-known graph problems such as the Vertex Cover problem and the Independent Set problem. We prove that any small LP relaxation for the aforementioned problems, cannot have an integrality gap strictly better than $2$ and $\omega(1)$, respectively. Furthermore, our lower bound for the Independent Set problem also holds for any SDP relaxation. Prior to our work, it was only known that such LP relaxations cannot have an integrality gap better than $1.5$ for the Vertex Cover Problem, and better than $2$ for the Independent Set problem. In the second part, we study the so-called knapsack cover inequalities that are used in the current best relaxations for numerous combinatorial optimization problems of covering type. In spite of their widespread use, these inequalities yield LP relaxations of exponential size, over which it is not known how to optimize exactly in polynomial time. We address this issue and obtain LP relaxations of quasi-polynomial size that are at least as strong as that given by the knapsack cover inequalities. In the last part, we show a close connection between structural hardness for k-partite graphs and tight inapproximability results for scheduling problems with precedence constraints. This connection is inspired by a family of integrality gap instances of a certain LP relaxation. Assuming the hardness of an optimization problem on k-partite graphs, we obtain a hardness of $2-\varepsilon$ for the problem of minimizing the makespan for scheduling with preemption on identical parallel machines, and a super constant inapproximability for the problem of scheduling on related parallel machines. Prior to this result, it was only known that the first problem does not admit a PTAS, and the second problem is NP-hard to approximate within a factor strictly better than 2, assuming the Unique Games Conjecture.

One of the classic results in scheduling theory is the 2-approximation algorithm by Lenstra, Shmoys, and Tardos for the problem of scheduling jobs to minimize makespan on unrelated machines; i.e., job j requires time p(ij) if processed on machine i. More than two decades after its introduction it is still the algorithm of choice even in the restricted model where processing times are of the form p(ij) is an element of {p(j), infinity}. This problem, also known as the restricted assignment problem, is NP-hard to approximate within a factor less than 1.5, which is also the best known lower bound for the general version. Our main result is a polynomial time algorithm that estimates the optimal makespan of the restricted assignment problem within a factor 33/17 + epsilon approximate to 1.9412 + epsilon, where epsilon > 0 is an arbitrarily small constant. The result is obtained by upper bounding the integrality gap of a certain strong linear program, known as the configuration LP, that was previously successfully used for the related Santa Claus problem. Similar to the strongest analysis for that problem our proof is based on a local search algorithm that will eventually find a schedule of the mentioned approximation guarantee but is not known to converge in polynomial time.

The common point between the different chapters of the present work is graph theory. We investigate some well known graph theory problems, and some which arise from more specific applications. In the first chapter, we deal with the maximum stable set problem, and provide some new graph classes, where it can be solved in polynomial time. Those classes are hereditary, i.e. characterized by a list of forbidden induced subgraphs. The algorithms proposed are purely combinatorial. The second chapter is devoted to the study of a problem linked to security purposes in mobile telecommunication networks. The particularity is that there is no central authority guaranteeing security, but it is actually managed by the users themselves. The network is modelled by an oriented graph, whose vertices represent the users, and whose arcs represent public key certificates. The problem is to associate to each vertex a subgraph with some requirements on the size of the subgraphs, the number of times a vertex is taken in a subgraph and the connectivity between any two users as they put their subgraphs together. Constructive heuristics are proposed, bounds on the optimal solution and a tabu search are described and tested. The third chapter is on the problem of reconstructing an image, given its projections in terms of the number of occurrences of each color in each row and each column. The case of two colors is known to be polynomially solvable, it is NP-complete with four or more colors, and the complexity status of the problem with three colors is open. An intermediate case between two and three colors is shown to be solvable in polynomial time. The last two chapters are about graph (vertex-)coloring. In the fourth, we prove a result which brings a large collection of NP-hard subcases, characterized by forbidden induced subgraphs. In the fifth chapter, we approach the problem with the use of linear programming. Links between different formulations are pointed out, and some families of facets are characterized. In the last section, we study a branch and bound algorithm, whose lower bounds are given by the optimal value of the linear relaxation of one of the exposed formulations. A preprocessing procedure is proposed and tested.