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It is well known that the standard greedy algorithm guarantees a worstcase approximation factor of 1 − 1/e when maximizing a monotone submodular function under a cardinality constraint. However, empirical studies show that its performance is substantially better in practice. This raises a natural question of explaining this improved performance of the greedy algorithm. In this work, we define sharpness for submodular functions as a candidate explanation for this phenomenon. We show that the greedy algorithm provably performs better as the sharpness of the submodular function increases. This improvement ties in closely with the faster convergence rates of first ordermore »

A major challenge in cancer genomics is to identify genes with functional roles in cancer and uncover their mechanisms of action. We introduce an integrative framework that identifies cancerrelevant genes by pinpointing those whose interaction or other functional sites are enriched in somatic mutations across tumors. We derive analytical calculations that enable us to avoid timeprohibitive permutationbased significance tests, making it computationally feasible to simultaneously consider multiple measures of protein site functionality. Our accompanying software, PertInInt, combines knowledge about sites participating in interactions with DNA, RNA, peptides, ions, or small molecules with domain, evolutionary conservation, and genelevel mutation data. Whenmore »

Motivated by the use of high speed circuit switches in large scale data centers, we consider the problem of circuit switch scheduling. In this problem we are given demands between pairs of servers and the goal is to schedule at every time step a matching between the servers while maximizing the total satisfied demand over time. The crux of this scheduling problem is that once one shifts from one matching to a different one a fixed delay delta is incurred during which no data can be transmitted. For the offline version of the problem we present a (1(1/e)epsilon) approximation ratiomore »

Semidefinite programming is a powerful tool in the design and analysis of approximation algorithms for combinatorial optimization problems. In particular, the random hyperplane rounding method of Goemans and Williamson [23] has been extensively studied for more than two decades, resulting in various extensions to the original technique and beautiful algorithms for a wide range of applications. Despite the fact that this approach yields tight approximation guarantees for some problems, e.g., MaxCut, for many others, e.g., MaxSAT and MaxDiCut, the tight approximation ratio is still unknown. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that very few techniques formore »

In an optimal design problem, we are given a set of linear experiments v1,…,vn∈Rd and k≥d, and our goal is to select a set or a multiset S⊆[n] of size k such that Φ((∑i∈Sviv⊤i)−1) is minimized. When Φ(M)=Determinant(M)1/d, the problem is known as the Doptimal design problem, and when Φ(M)=Trace(M), it is known as the Aoptimal design problem. One of the most common heuristics used in practice to solve these problems is the local search heuristic, also known as the Fedorov’s exchange method (Fedorov, 1972). This is due to its simplicity and its empirical performance (Cook and Nachtrheim, 1980; Millermore »

In an optimal design problem, we are given a set of linear experiments v1,…,vn∈Rd and k≥d, and our goal is to select a set or a multiset S⊆[n] of size k such that Φ((∑i∈Sviv⊤i)−1) is minimized. When Φ(M)=Determinant(M)1/d, the problem is known as the Doptimal design problem, and when Φ(M)=Trace(M), it is known as the Aoptimal design problem. One of the most common heuristics used in practice to solve these problems is the local search heuristic, also known as the Fedorov’s exchange method (Fedorov, 1972). This is due to its simplicity and its empirical performance (Cook and Nachtrheim, 1980; Millermore »

Constrained submodular function maximization has been used in subset selection problems such as selection of most informative sensor locations. While these models have been quite popular, the solutions obtained via this approach are unstable to perturbations in data defining the submodular functions. Robust submodular maximization has been proposed as a richer model that aims to overcome this discrepancy as well as increase the modeling scope of submodular optimization. In this work, we consider robust submodular maximization with structured combinatorial constraints and give efficient algorithms with provable guarantees. Our approach is applicable to constraints defined by single or multiple matroids, knapsackmore »