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Publication# Fair Colorful k-Center Clustering

Résumé

An instance of colorful k-center consists of points in a metric space that are colored red or blue, along with an integer k and a coverage requirement for each color. The goal is to find the smallest radius ρ such that there exist balls of radius ρ around k of the points that meet the coverage requirements. The motivation behind this problem is twofold. First, from fairness considerations: each color/group should receive a similar service guarantee, and second, from the algorithmic challenges it poses: this problem combines the difficulties of clustering along with the subset-sum problem. In particular, we show that this combination results in strong integrality gap lower bounds for several natural linear programming relaxations. Our main result is an efficient approximation algorithm that overcomes these difficulties to achieve an approximation guarantee of 3, nearly matching the tight approximation guarantee of 2 for the classical k-center problem which this problem generalizes.

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We consider the capacitated -center problem. In this problem we are given a finite set of locations in a metric space and each location has an associated non-negative integer capacity. The goal is to choose (open) locations (called centers) and assign each location to an open center to minimize the maximum, over all locations, of the distance of the location to its assigned center. The number of locations assigned to a center cannot exceed the center's capacity. The uncapacitated -center problem has a simple tight -approximation from the 80's. In contrast, the first constant factor approximation for the capacitated problem was obtained only recently by Cygan, Hajiaghayi and Khuller who gave an intricate LP-rounding algorithm that achieves an approximation guarantee in the hundreds. In this paper we give a simple algorithm with a clean analysis and prove an approximation guarantee of . It uses the standard LP relaxation and comes close to settling the integrality gap (after necessary preprocessing), which is narrowed down to either or . The algorithm proceeds by first reducing to special tree instances, and then uses our best-possible algorithm to solve such instances. Our concept of tree instances is versatile and applies to natural variants of the capacitated -center problem for which we also obtain improved algorithms. Finally, we give evidence to show that more powerful preprocessing could lead to better algorithms, by giving an approximation algorithm that beats the integrality gap for instances where all non-zero capacities are the same.

Xinrui Jia, Ola Nils Anders Svensson

An instance of colorful k-center consists of points in a metric space that are colored red or blue, along with an integer k and a coverage requirement for each color. The goal is to find the smallest radius rho such that there exist balls of radius rho around k of the points that meet the coverage requirements. The motivation behind this problem is twofold. First, from fairness considerations: each color/group should receive a similar service guarantee, and second, from the algorithmic challenges it poses: this problem combines the difficulties of clustering along with the subset-sum problem. In particular, we show that this combination results in strong integrality gap lower bounds for several natural linear programming relaxations. Our main result is an efficient approximation algorithm that overcomes these difficulties to achieve an approximation guarantee of 3, nearly matching the tight approximation guarantee of 2 for the classical k-center problem which this problem generalizes. algorithms either opened more than k centers or only worked in the special case when the input points are in the plane.