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1. We propose a new setting for testing properties of distributions while receiving samples from several distributions, but few samples per distribution. Given samples from s distributions, p_1, p_2, …, p_s, we design testers for the following problems: (1) Uniformity Testing: Testing whether all the p_i’s are uniform or ε-far from being uniform in ℓ_1-distance (2) Identity Testing: Testing whether all the p_i’s are equal to an explicitly given distribution q or ε-far from q in ℓ_1-distance, and (3) Closeness Testing: Testing whether all the p_i’s are equal to a distribution q which we have sample access to, or ε-far frommore »
2. We consider the classical problem of selling a single item to a single bidder whose value for the item is drawn from a regular distribution F, in a "data-poor'' regime where Fis not known to the seller, and very few samples from Fare available. Prior work [Dhangwatnotai et al '10] has shown that one sample from Fcan be used to attain a 1/2-factor approximation to the optimal revenue, but it has been challenging to improve this guarantee when more samples from Fare provided, even when two samples from Fare provided. In this case, the best approximation known to date ismore »
3. We design a Local Computation Algorithm (LCA) for the set cover problem. Given a set system where each set has size at most s and each element is contained in at most t sets, the algorithm reports whether a given set is in some fixed set cover whose expected size is O(log s) times the minimum fractional set cover value. Our algorithm requires sO(log s) tO(log s+log log t)) queries. This result improves upon the application of the reduction of [Parnas and Ron, TCS’07] on the result of [Kuhn et al., SODA’06], which leads to a query complexity of (st)more »
4. A probability distribution over the Boolean cube is monotone if flipping the value of a coordinate from zero to one can only increase the probability of an element. Given samples of an unknown monotone distribution over the Boolean cube, we give (to our knowledge) the first algorithm that learns an approximation of the distribution in statistical distance using a number of samples that is sublinear in the domain. To do this, we develop a structural lemma describing monotone probability distributions. The structural lemma has further implications to the sample complexity of basic testing tasks for analyzing monotone probability distributions overmore »
5. 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 objectmore »
6. In this paper we study the smooth convex-concave saddle point problem. Specifically, we analyze the last iterate convergence properties of the Extragradient (EG) algorithm. It is well known that the ergodic (averaged) iterates of EG converge at a rate of O(1/T) (Nemirovski, 2004). In this paper, we show that the last iterate of EG converges at a rate of O(1/T‾‾√). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to provide a convergence rate guarantee for the last iterate of EG for the smooth convex-concave saddle point problem. Moreover, we show that this rate is tight by provingmore »
7. We study the search problem class PPA_q defined as a modulo-q analog of the well-known polynomial parity argument class PPA introduced by Papadimitriou (JCSS 1994). Our first result shows that this class can be characterized in terms of PPA_p for prime p. Our main result is to establish that an explicit version of a search problem associated to the Chevalley - Warning theorem is complete for PPA_p for prime p. This problem is natural in that it does not explicitly involve circuits as part of the input. It is the first such complete problem for PPA_p when p ≥ 3.more »
8. We identify the first static credible mechanism for multi-item additive auctions that achieves a constant factor of the optimal revenue. This is one instance of a more general framework for designing two-part tariff auctions, adapting the duality framework of Cai et al [CDW16]. Given a (not necessarily incentive compatible) auction format A satisfying certain technical conditions, our framework augments the auction with a personalized entry fee for each bidder, which must be paid before the auction can be accessed. These entry fees depend only on the prior distribution of bidder types, and in particular are independent of realized bids. Ourmore »
9. https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.13724 We study the question of obtaining last-iterate convergence rates for no-regret learning algorithms in multi-player games. We show that the optimistic gradient (OG) algorithm with a constant step-size, which is no-regret, achieves a last-iterate rate of O(1/T‾‾√) with respect to the gap function in smooth monotone games. This result addresses a question of Mertikopoulos & Zhou (2018), who asked whether extra-gradient approaches (such as OG) can be applied to achieve improved guarantees in the multi-agent learning setting. The proof of our upper bound uses a new technique centered around an adaptive choice of potential function at each iteration. Wemore »
10. We obtain global, non-asymptotic convergence guarantees for independent learning algorithms in competitive reinforcement learning settings with two agents (i.e., zero-sum stochastic games). We consider an episodic setting where in each episode, each player independently selects a policy and observes only their own actions and rewards, along with the state. We show that if both players run policy gradient methods in tandem, their policies will converge to a min-max equilibrium of the game, as long as their learning rates follow a two-timescale rule (which is necessary). To the best of our knowledge, this constitutes the first finite-sample convergence result for independentmore »