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We present approximation and exact algorithms for piecewise regression of univariate and bivariate data using fixed-degree polynomials. Specifically, given a set S of n data points (x1, y1), . . . , (xn, yn) ∈ Rd × R where d ∈ {1, 2}, the goal is to segment xi’s into some (arbitrary) number of disjoint pieces P1, . . . , Pk, where each piece Pj is associated with a fixed-degree polynomial fj : Rd → R, to minimize the total loss function λk+ni=1(yi −f(xi))2, where λ ≥ 0 is a regularization term that penalizes model complexity (number of pieces) and f : kj=1 Pj → R is the piecewise polynomial function defined as f|Pj = fj. The pieces P1,...,Pk are disjoint intervals of R in the case of univariate data and disjoint axis-aligned rectangles in the case of bivariate data. Our error approximation allows use of any fixed-degree polynomial, not just linear functions.
Our main results are the following. For univariate data, we present a (1 + ε)-approximation algorithm with time complexity O(nε log1ε), assuming that data is presented in sorted order of xi’s. For bivariate data, we
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present three results: a sub-exponential exact algorithm with running time nO( n); a polynomial-time constant- approximation algorithm; and a quasi-polynomial time approximation scheme (QPTAS). The bivariate case is believed to be NP-hard in the folklore but we could not find a published record in the literature, so in this paper we also present a hardness proof for completeness.

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