skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This content will become publicly available on December 6, 2024

Title: Improved Distributed Algorithms for Random Colorings
Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms are a widely-used algorithmic tool for sampling from high-dimensional distributions, a notable example is the equilibirum distribution of graphical models. The Glauber dynamics, also known as the Gibbs sampler, is the simplest example of an MCMC algorithm; the transitions of the chain update the configuration at a randomly chosen coordinate at each step. Several works have studied distributed versions of the Glauber dynamics and we extend these efforts to a more general family of Markov chains. An important combinatorial problem in the study of MCMC algorithms is random colorings. Given a graph G of maximum degree Δ and an integer k ≥ Δ+1, the goal is to generate a random proper vertex k-coloring of G. Jerrum (1995) proved that the Glauber dynamics has O(nlog{n}) mixing time when k > 2Δ. Fischer and Ghaffari (2018), and independently Feng, Hayes, and Yin (2018), presented a parallel and distributed version of the Glauber dynamics which converges in O(log{n}) rounds for k > (2+ε)Δ for any ε > 0. We improve this result to k > (11/6-δ)Δ for a fixed δ > 0. This matches the state of the art for randomly sampling colorings of general graphs in the sequential setting. Whereas previous works focused on distributed variants of the Glauber dynamics, our work presents a parallel and distributed version of the more general flip dynamics presented by Vigoda (2000) (and refined by Chen, Delcourt, Moitra, Perarnau, and Postle (2019)), which recolors local maximal two-colored components in each step.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2147094 2205743
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Bessani, Alysson; Défago, Xavier; Nakamura, Junya; Wada, Koichi; Yamauchi, Yukiko
Publisher / Repository:
Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik
Date Published:
Journal Name:
27th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS 2023)
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
["Distributed Graph Algorithms","Local Algorithms","Coloring","Glauber Dynamics","Sampling","Markov Chains","Theory of computation → Distributed algorithms","Theory of computation → Graph algorithms analysis","Theory of computation → Random walks and Markov chains"]
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. For general spin systems, we prove that a contractive coupling for an arbitrary local Markov chain implies optimal bounds on the mixing time and the modified log-Sobolev constant for a large class of Markov chains including the Glauber dynamics, arbitrary heat-bath block dynamics, and the Swendsen-Wang dynamics. This reveals a novel connection between probabilistic techniques for bounding the convergence to stationarity and analytic tools for analyzing the decay of relative entropy. As a corollary of our general results, we obtain O(n log n) mixing time and Ω(1/n) modified log-Sobolev constant of the Glauber dynamics for sampling random q-colorings of an n-vertex graph with constant maximum degree Δ when q > (11/6–∊0)Δ for some fixed ∊0 > 0. We also obtain O(log n) mixing time and Ω(1) modified log-Sobolev constant of the Swendsen-Wang dynamics for the ferromagnetic Ising model on an n-vertex graph of constant maximum degree when the parameters of the system lie in the tree uniqueness region. At the heart of our results are new techniques for establishing spectral independence of the spin system and block factorization of the relative entropy. On one hand we prove that a contractive coupling of any local Markov chain implies spectral independence of the Gibbs distribution. On the other hand we show that spectral independence implies factorization of entropy for arbitrary blocks, establishing optimal bounds on the modified log-Sobolev constant of the corresponding block dynamics. 
    more » « less
  2. We introduce a notion called entropic independence that is an entropic analog of spectral notions of high-dimensional expansion. Informally, entropic independence of a background distribution $\mu$ on $k$-sized subsets of a ground set of elements says that for any (possibly randomly chosen) set $S$, the relative entropy of a single element of $S$ drawn uniformly at random carries at most $O(1/k)$ fraction of the relative entropy of $S$. Entropic independence is the analog of the notion of spectral independence, if one replaces variance by entropy. We use entropic independence to derive tight mixing time bounds, overcoming the lossy nature of spectral analysis of Markov chains on exponential-sized state spaces. In our main technical result, we show a general way of deriving entropy contraction, a.k.a. modified log-Sobolev inequalities, for down-up random walks from spectral notions. We show that spectral independence of a distribution under arbitrary external fields automatically implies entropic independence. We furthermore extend our theory to the case where spectral independence does not hold under arbitrary external fields. To do this, we introduce a framework for obtaining tight mixing time bounds for Markov chains based on what we call restricted modified log-Sobolev inequalities, which guarantee entropy contraction not for all distributions, but for those in a sufficiently large neighborhood of the stationary distribution. To derive our results, we relate entropic independence to properties of polynomials: $\mu$ is entropically independent exactly when a transformed version of the generating polynomial of $\mu$ is upper bounded by its linear tangent; this property is implied by concavity of the said transformation, which was shown by prior work to be locally equivalent to spectral independence. We apply our results to obtain (1) tight modified log-Sobolev inequalities and mixing times for multi-step down-up walks on fractionally log-concave distributions, (2) the tight mixing time of $O(n\log n)$ for Glauber dynamics on Ising models whose interaction matrix has eigenspectrum lying within an interval of length smaller than $1$, improving upon the prior quadratic dependence on $n$, and (3) nearly-linear time $\widetilde O_{\delta}(n)$ samplers for the hardcore and Ising models on $n$-node graphs that have $\delta$-relative gap to the tree-uniqueness threshold. In the last application, our bound on the running time does not depend on the maximum degree $\Delta$ of the graph, and is therefore optimal even for high-degree graphs, and in fact, is sublinear in the size of the graph for high-degree graphs. 
    more » « less
  3. Let Ωqq(H) denote the set of proper [q]‐colorings of the hypergraphH. Let Γqbe the graph with vertex set Ωqwhere two coloringsσ,τare adjacent iff the corresponding colorings differ in exactly one vertex. We show that ifH=Hn,m;k, k ≥ 2, the randomk‐uniform hypergraph withV=[n] andm=dn/khyperedges then w.h.p. Γqis connected ifdis sufficiently large and. This is optimal up to the first order ind. Furthermore, with a few more colors, we find that the diameter of ΓqisO(n) w.h.p., where the hidden constant depends ond. So, with this choice ofd,q, the natural Glauber dynamics Markov Chain on Ωqis ergodic w.h.p.

    more » « less
  4. Over the last two decades, frameworks for distributed-memory parallel computation, such as MapReduce, Hadoop, Spark and Dryad, have gained significant popularity with the growing prevalence of large network datasets. The Massively Parallel Computation (MPC) model is the de-facto standard for studying graph algorithms in these frameworks theoretically. Subgraph counting is one such fundamental problem in analyzing massive graphs, with the main algorithmic challenges centering on designing methods which are both scalable and accurate. Given a graph G = (V, E) with n vertices, m edges and T triangles, our first result is an algorithm that outputs a (1+ε)-approximation to T, with asymptotically optimal round and total space complexity provided any S ≥ max{(√ m, n²/m)} space per machine and assuming T = Ω(√{m/n}). Our result gives a quadratic improvement on the bound on T over previous works. We also provide a simple extension of our result to counting any subgraph of k size for constant k ≥ 1. Our second result is an O_δ(log log n)-round algorithm for exactly counting the number of triangles, whose total space usage is parametrized by the arboricity α of the input graph. We extend this result to exactly counting k-cliques for any constant k. Finally, we prove that a recent result of Bera, Pashanasangi and Seshadhri (ITCS 2020) for exactly counting all subgraphs of size at most 5 can be implemented in the MPC model in Õ_δ(√{log n}) rounds, O(n^δ) space per machine and O(mα³) total space. In addition to our theoretical results, we simulate our triangle counting algorithms in real-world graphs obtained from the Stanford Network Analysis Project (SNAP) database. Our results show that both our approximate and exact counting algorithms exhibit improvements in terms of round complexity and approximation ratio, respectively, compared to two previous widely used algorithms for these problems. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    Consider an algorithm performing a computation on a huge random object (for example a random graph or a "long" random walk). Is it necessary to generate the entire object prior to the computation, or is it possible to provide query access to the object and sample it incrementally "on-the-fly" (as requested by the algorithm)? Such an implementation should emulate the random object by answering queries in a manner consistent with an instance of the random object sampled from the true distribution (or close to it). This paradigm is useful when the algorithm is sub-linear and thus, sampling the entire object up front would ruin its efficiency. Our first set of results focus on undirected graphs with independent edge probabilities, i.e. each edge is chosen as an independent Bernoulli random variable. We provide a general implementation for this model under certain assumptions. Then, we use this to obtain the first efficient local implementations for the Erdös-Rényi G(n,p) model for all values of p, and the Stochastic Block model. As in previous local-access implementations for random graphs, we support Vertex-Pair and Next-Neighbor queries. In addition, we introduce a new Random-Neighbor query. Next, we give the first local-access implementation for All-Neighbors queries in the (sparse and directed) Kleinberg’s Small-World model. Our implementations require no pre-processing time, and answer each query using O(poly(log n)) time, random bits, and additional space. Next, we show how to implement random Catalan objects, specifically focusing on Dyck paths (balanced random walks on the integer line that are always non-negative). Here, we support Height queries to find the location of the walk, and First-Return queries to find the time when the walk returns to a specified location. This in turn can be used to implement Next-Neighbor queries on random rooted ordered trees, and Matching-Bracket queries on random well bracketed expressions (the Dyck language). Finally, we introduce two features to define a new model that: (1) allows multiple independent (and even simultaneous) instantiations of the same implementation, to be consistent with each other without the need for communication, (2) allows us to generate a richer class of random objects that do not have a succinct description. Specifically, we study uniformly random valid q-colorings of an input graph G with maximum degree Δ. This is in contrast to prior work in the area, where the relevant random objects are defined as a distribution with O(1) parameters (for example, n and p in the G(n,p) model). The distribution over valid colorings is instead specified via a "huge" input (the underlying graph G), that is far too large to be read by a sub-linear time algorithm. Instead, our implementation accesses G through local neighborhood probes, and is able to answer queries to the color of any given vertex in sub-linear time for q ≥ 9Δ, in a manner that is consistent with a specific random valid coloring of G. Furthermore, the implementation is memory-less, and can maintain consistency with non-communicating copies of itself. 
    more » « less