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  1. Given a metric space ℳ = (X,δ), a weighted graph G over X is a metric t-spanner of ℳ if for every u,v ∈ X, δ(u,v) ≤ δ_G(u,v) ≤ t⋅ δ(u,v), where δ_G is the shortest path metric in G. In this paper, we construct spanners for finite sets in metric spaces in the online setting. Here, we are given a sequence of points (s₁, …, s_n), where the points are presented one at a time (i.e., after i steps, we have seen S_i = {s₁, … , s_i}). The algorithm is allowed to add edges to the spanner when a new point arrives, however, it is not allowed to remove any edge from the spanner. The goal is to maintain a t-spanner G_i for S_i for all i, while minimizing the number of edges, and their total weight. Under the L₂-norm in ℝ^d for arbitrary constant d ∈ ℕ, we present an online (1+ε)-spanner algorithm with competitive ratio O_d(ε^{-d} log n), improving the previous bound of O_d(ε^{-(d+1)}log n). Moreover, the spanner maintained by the algorithm has O_d(ε^{1-d}log ε^{-1})⋅ n edges, almost matching the (offline) optimal bound of O_d(ε^{1-d})⋅ n. In the plane, a tighter analysis of the same algorithm provides an almost quadratic improvement of the competitive ratio to O(ε^{-3/2}logε^{-1}log n), by comparing the online spanner with an instance-optimal spanner directly, bypassing the comparison to an MST (i.e., lightness). As a counterpart, we design a sequence of points that yields a Ω_d(ε^{-d}) lower bound for the competitive ratio for online (1+ε)-spanner algorithms in ℝ^d under the L₁-norm. Then we turn our attention to online spanners in general metrics. Note that, it is not possible to obtain a spanner with stretch less than 3 with a subquadratic number of edges, even in the offline setting, for general metrics. We analyze an online version of the celebrated greedy spanner algorithm, dubbed ordered greedy. With stretch factor t = (2k-1)(1+ε) for k ≥ 2 and ε ∈ (0,1), we show that it maintains a spanner with O(ε^{-1}logε^{-1})⋅ n^{1+1/k} edges and O(ε^{-1}n^{1/k}log² n) lightness for a sequence of n points in a metric space. We show that these bounds cannot be significantly improved, by introducing an instance that achieves an Ω(1/k⋅ n^{1/k}) competitive ratio on both sparsity and lightness. Furthermore, we establish the trade-off among stretch, number of edges and lightness for points in ultrametrics, showing that one can maintain a (2+ε)-spanner for ultrametrics with O(ε^{-1}logε^{-1})⋅ n edges and O(ε^{-2}) lightness. 
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  2. Given a metric space ℳ = (X,δ), a weighted graph G over X is a metric t-spanner of ℳ if for every u,v ∈ X, δ(u,v) ≤ δ_G(u,v) ≤ t⋅ δ(u,v), where δ_G is the shortest path metric in G. In this paper, we construct spanners for finite sets in metric spaces in the online setting. Here, we are given a sequence of points (s₁, …, s_n), where the points are presented one at a time (i.e., after i steps, we have seen S_i = {s₁, … , s_i}). The algorithm is allowed to add edges to the spanner when a new point arrives, however, it is not allowed to remove any edge from the spanner. The goal is to maintain a t-spanner G_i for S_i for all i, while minimizing the number of edges, and their total weight. Under the L₂-norm in ℝ^d for arbitrary constant d ∈ ℕ, we present an online (1+ε)-spanner algorithm with competitive ratio O_d(ε^{-d} log n), improving the previous bound of O_d(ε^{-(d+1)}log n). Moreover, the spanner maintained by the algorithm has O_d(ε^{1-d}log ε^{-1})⋅ n edges, almost matching the (offline) optimal bound of O_d(ε^{1-d})⋅ n. In the plane, a tighter analysis of the same algorithm provides an almost quadratic improvement of the competitive ratio to O(ε^{-3/2}logε^{-1}log n), by comparing the online spanner with an instance-optimal spanner directly, bypassing the comparison to an MST (i.e., lightness). As a counterpart, we design a sequence of points that yields a Ω_d(ε^{-d}) lower bound for the competitive ratio for online (1+ε)-spanner algorithms in ℝ^d under the L₁-norm. Then we turn our attention to online spanners in general metrics. Note that, it is not possible to obtain a spanner with stretch less than 3 with a subquadratic number of edges, even in the offline setting, for general metrics. We analyze an online version of the celebrated greedy spanner algorithm, dubbed ordered greedy. With stretch factor t = (2k-1)(1+ε) for k ≥ 2 and ε ∈ (0,1), we show that it maintains a spanner with O(ε^{-1}logε^{-1})⋅ n^{1+1/k} edges and O(ε^{-1}n^{1/k}log² n) lightness for a sequence of n points in a metric space. We show that these bounds cannot be significantly improved, by introducing an instance that achieves an Ω(1/k⋅ n^{1/k}) competitive ratio on both sparsity and lightness. Furthermore, we establish the trade-off among stretch, number of edges and lightness for points in ultrametrics, showing that one can maintain a (2+ε)-spanner for ultrametrics with O(ε^{-1}logε^{-1})⋅ n edges and O(ε^{-2}) lightness. 
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  3. Mutzel, Petra ; Pagh, Rasmus ; Herman, Grzegorz (Ed.)
  4. null (Ed.)
    Lightness is a fundamental parameter for Euclidean spanners; it is the ratio of the spanner weight to the weight of the minimum spanning tree of a finite set of points in ℝ^d. In a recent breakthrough, Le and Solomon (2019) established the precise dependencies on ε > 0 and d ∈ ℕ of the minimum lightness of a (1+ε)-spanner, and observed that additional Steiner points can substantially improve the lightness. Le and Solomon (2020) constructed Steiner (1+ε)-spanners of lightness O(ε^{-1}logΔ) in the plane, where Δ ≥ Ω(√n) is the spread of the point set, defined as the ratio between the maximum and minimum distance between a pair of points. They also constructed spanners of lightness Õ(ε^{-(d+1)/2}) in dimensions d ≥ 3. Recently, Bhore and Tóth (2020) established a lower bound of Ω(ε^{-d/2}) for the lightness of Steiner (1+ε)-spanners in ℝ^d, for d ≥ 2. The central open problem in this area is to close the gap between the lower and upper bounds in all dimensions d ≥ 2. In this work, we show that for every finite set of points in the plane and every ε > 0, there exists a Euclidean Steiner (1+ε)-spanner of lightness O(ε^{-1}); this matches the lower bound for d = 2. We generalize the notion of shallow light trees, which may be of independent interest, and use directional spanners and a modified window partitioning scheme to achieve a tight weight analysis. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Lightness and sparsity are two natural parameters for Euclidean (1+ε)-spanners. Classical results show that, when the dimension d ∈ ℕ and ε > 0 are constant, every set S of n points in d-space admits an (1+ε)-spanners with O(n) edges and weight proportional to that of the Euclidean MST of S. Tight bounds on the dependence on ε > 0 for constant d ∈ ℕ have been established only recently. Le and Solomon (FOCS 2019) showed that Steiner points can substantially improve the lightness and sparsity of a (1+ε)-spanner. They gave upper bounds of Õ(ε^{-(d+1)/2}) for the minimum lightness in dimensions d ≥ 3, and Õ(ε^{-(d-1))/2}) for the minimum sparsity in d-space for all d ≥ 1. They obtained lower bounds only in the plane (d = 2). Le and Solomon (ESA 2020) also constructed Steiner (1+ε)-spanners of lightness O(ε^{-1}logΔ) in the plane, where Δ ∈ Ω(log n) is the spread of S, defined as the ratio between the maximum and minimum distance between a pair of points. In this work, we improve several bounds on the lightness and sparsity of Euclidean Steiner (1+ε)-spanners. Using a new geometric analysis, we establish lower bounds of Ω(ε^{-d/2}) for the lightness and Ω(ε^{-(d-1)/2}) for the sparsity of such spanners in Euclidean d-space for all d ≥ 2. We use the geometric insight from our lower bound analysis to construct Steiner (1+ε)-spanners of lightness O(ε^{-1}log n) for n points in Euclidean plane. 
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  6. null (Ed.)