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Creators/Authors contains: "Liu, Yang P."

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  6. We design fast algorithms for repeatedly sampling from strongly Rayleigh distributions, which include as special cases random spanning tree distributions and determinantal point processes. For a graph $G=(V, E)$, we show how to approximately sample uniformly random spanning trees from $G$ in $\widetilde{O}(\lvert V\rvert)$\footnote{Throughout, $\widetilde{O}(\cdot)$ hides polylogarithmic factors in $n$.} time per sample after an initial $\widetilde{O}(\lvert E\rvert)$ time preprocessing. This is the first nearly-linear runtime in the output size, which is clearly optimal. For a determinantal point process on $k$-sized subsets of a ground set of $n$ elements, defined via an $n\times n$ kernel matrix, we show how to approximately sample in $\widetilde{O}(k^\omega)$ time after an initial $\widetilde{O}(nk^{\omega-1})$ time preprocessing, where $\omega<2.372864$ is the matrix multiplication exponent. The time to compute just the weight of the output set is simply $\simeq k^\omega$, a natural barrier that suggests our runtime might be optimal for determinantal point processes as well. As a corollary, we even improve the state of the art for obtaining a single sample from a determinantal point process, from the prior runtime of $\widetilde{O}(\min\{nk^2, n^\omega\})$ to $\widetilde{O}(nk^{\omega-1})$. In our main technical result, we achieve the optimal limit on domain sparsification for strongly Rayleigh distributions. In domain sparsification, sampling from a distribution $\mu$ on $\binom{[n]}{k}$ is reduced to sampling from related distributions on $\binom{[t]}{k}$ for $t\ll n$. We show that for strongly Rayleigh distributions, the domain size can be reduced to nearly linear in the output size $t=\widetilde{O}(k)$, improving the state of the art from $t= \widetilde{O}(k^2)$ for general strongly Rayleigh distributions and the more specialized $t=\widetilde{O}(k^{1.5})$ for spanning tree distributions. Our reduction involves sampling from $\widetilde{O}(1)$ domain-sparsified distributions, all of which can be produced efficiently assuming approximate overestimates for marginals of $\mu$ are known and stored in a convenient data structure. Having access to marginals is the discrete analog of having access to the mean and covariance of a continuous distribution, or equivalently knowing ``isotropy'' for the distribution, the key behind optimal samplers in the continuous setting based on the famous Kannan-Lov\'asz-Simonovits (KLS) conjecture. We view our result as analogous in spirit to the KLS conjecture and its consequences for sampling, but rather for discrete strongly Rayleigh measures. 
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  7. We give an algorithm that computes exact maximum flows and minimum-cost flows on directed graphs with m edges and polynomially bounded integral demands, costs, and capacities in m^{1+o(1)} time. Our algorithm builds the flow through a sequence of m^{1+o(1)} approximate undirected minimum-ratio cycles, each of which is computed and processed in amortized m^{o(1)} time using a new dynamic graph data structure. Our framework extends to algorithms running in m^{1+o(1)} time for computing flows that minimize general edge-separable convex functions to high accuracy. This gives almost-linear time algorithms for several problems including entropy-regularized optimal transport, matrix scaling, p-norm flows, and p-norm isotonic regression on arbitrary directed acyclic graphs. 
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