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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. We propose subsampling as a unified algorithmic technique for submodular maximization in centralized and online settings. The idea is simple: independently sample elements from the ground set and use simple combinatorial techniques (such as greedy or local search) on these sampled elements. We show that this approach leads to optimal/state-of-the-art results despite being much simpler than existing methods. In the usual off-line setting, we present SampleGreedy, which obtains a [Formula: see text]-approximation for maximizing a submodular function subject to a p-extendible system using [Formula: see text] evaluation and feasibility queries, where k is the size of the largest feasible set. The approximation ratio improves to p + 1 and p for monotone submodular and linear objectives, respectively. In the streaming setting, we present Sample-Streaming, which obtains a [Formula: see text]-approximation for maximizing a submodular function subject to a p-matchoid using O(k) memory and [Formula: see text] evaluation and feasibility queries per element, and m is the number of matroids defining the p-matchoid. The approximation ratio improves to 4p for monotone submodular objectives. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithms on video summarization, location summarization, and movie recommendation tasks. 
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