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Bringmann, Karl ; Grohe, Martin ; Puppis, Gabriele ; Svensson, Ola (Ed.)The splittingoff operation in undirected graphs is a fundamental reduction operation that detaches all edges incident to a given vertex and adds new edges between the neighbors of that vertex while preserving their degrees. Lovász [Lov{á}sz, 1974; Lov{á}sz, 1993] and Mader [Mader, 1978] showed the existence of this operation while preserving global and local connectivities respectively in graphs under certain conditions. These results have farreaching applications in graph algorithms literature [Lovász, 1976; Mader, 1978; Frank, 1993; Frank and Király, 2002; Király and Lau, 2008; Frank, 1992; Goemans and Bertsimas, 1993; Frank, 1994; BangJensen et al., 1995; Frank, 2011; Nagamochi and Ibaraki, 2008; Nagamochi et al., 1997; Henzinger and Williamson, 1996; Goemans, 2001; Jordán, 2003; Kriesell, 2003; Jain et al., 2003; Chan et al., 2011; Bhalgat et al., 2008; Lau, 2007; Chekuri and Shepherd, 2008; Nägele and Zenklusen, 2020; Blauth and Nägele, 2023]. In this work, we introduce a splittingoff operation in hypergraphs. We show that there exists a local connectivity preserving complete splittingoff in hypergraphs and give a strongly polynomialtime algorithm to compute it in weighted hypergraphs. We illustrate the usefulness of our splittingoff operation in hypergraphs by showing two applications: (1) we give a constructive characterization of khyperedgeconnected hypergraphs and (2) we give an alternate proof of an approximate minmax relation for max Steiner rootedconnected orientation of graphs and hypergraphs (due to Király and Lau [Király and Lau, 2008]). Our proof of the approximate minmax relation for graphs circumvents the NashWilliams' strong orientation theorem and uses tools developed for hypergraphs.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available July 2, 2025

Bringmann, Karl ; Grohe, Martin ; Puppis, Gabriele ; Svensson, Ola (Ed.)TopKAT is the algebraic theory of Kleene algebra with tests (KAT) extended with a top element. Compared to KAT, one pleasant feature of TopKAT is that, in relational models, the top element allows us to express the domain and codomain of a relation. This enables several applications in program logics, such as proving underapproximate specifications or reachability properties of imperative programs. However, while TopKAT inherits many pleasant features of KATs, such as having a decidable equational theory, it is incomplete with respect to relational models. In other words, there are properties that hold true of all relational TopKATs but cannot be proved with the axioms of TopKAT. This issue is potentially worrisome for programlogic applications, in which relational models play a key role. In this paper, we further investigate the completeness properties of TopKAT with respect to relational models. We show that TopKAT is complete with respect to (co)domain comparison of KAT terms, but incomplete when comparing the (co)domain of arbitrary TopKAT terms. Since the encoding of underapproximate specifications in TopKAT hinges on this type of formula, the aforementioned incompleteness results have a limited impact when using TopKAT to reason about such specifications.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available July 2, 2025

Bringmann, Karl ; Grohe, Martin ; Puppis, Gabriele ; Svensson, Ola (Ed.)The hereditary discrepancy of a set system is a quantitative measure of the pseudorandom properties of the system. Roughly speaking, hereditary discrepancy measures how well one can 2color the elements of the system so that each set contains approximately the same number of elements of each color. Hereditary discrepancy has numerous applications in computational geometry, communication complexity and derandomization. More recently, the hereditary discrepancy of the set system of shortest paths has found applications in differential privacy [Chen et al. SODA 23]. The contribution of this paper is to improve the upper and lower bounds on the hereditary discrepancy of set systems of unique shortest paths in graphs. In particular, we show that any system of unique shortest paths in an undirected weighted graph has hereditary discrepancy O(n^{1/4}), and we construct lower bound examples demonstrating that this bound is tight up to polylog n factors. Our lower bounds hold even for planar graphs and bipartite graphs, and improve a previous lower bound of Ω(n^{1/6}) obtained by applying the trace bound of Chazelle and Lvov [SoCG'00] to a classical pointline system of Erdős. As applications, we improve the lower bound on the additive error for differentiallyprivate all pairs shortest distances from Ω(n^{1/6}) [Chen et al. SODA 23] to Ω̃(n^{1/4}), and we improve the lower bound on additive error for the differentiallyprivate all sets range queries problem to Ω̃(n^{1/4}), which is tight up to polylog n factors [Deng et al. WADS 23].more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2025

Bringmann, Karl ; Grohe, Martin ; Puppis, Gabriele ; Svensson, Ola (Ed.)We study information design in clickthrough auctions, in which the bidders/advertisers bid for winning an opportunity to show their ads but only pay for realized clicks. The payment may or may not happen, and its probability is called the clickthrough rate (CTR). This auction format is widely used in the industry of online advertising. Bidders have private values, whereas the seller has private information about each bidder’s CTRs. We are interested in the seller’s problem of partially revealing CTR information to maximize revenue. Information design in clickthrough auctions turns out to be intriguingly different from almost all previous studies in this space since any revealed information about CTRs will never affect bidders' bidding behaviors  they will always bid their true value per click  but only affect the auction’s allocation and payment rule. In some sense, this makes information design effectively a constrained mechanism design problem. Our first result is an FPTAS to compute an approximately optimal mechanism under a constant number of bidders. The design of this algorithm leverages Bayesian bidder values which help to "smooth" the seller’s revenue function and lead to better tractability. The design of this FPTAS is complex and primarily algorithmic. Our second main result pursues the design of "simple" mechanisms that are approximately optimal yet more practical. We primarily focus on the twobidder situation, which is already notoriously challenging as demonstrated in recent works. When bidders' CTR distribution is symmetric, we develop a simple priorfree signaling scheme, whose construction relies on a parameter termed optimal signal ratio. The constructed scheme provably obtains a good approximation as long as the maximum and minimum of bidders' value density functions do not differ much.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2025

Bringmann, Karl ; Grohe, Martin ; Puppis, Gabriele ; Svensson, Ola (Ed.)We consider the problem of approximate counting of triangles and longer fixed length cycles in directed graphs. For triangles, Tětek [ICALP'22] gave an algorithm that returns a (1±ε)approximation in Õ(n^ω/t^{ω2}) time, where t is the unknown number of triangles in the given n node graph and ω < 2.372 is the matrix multiplication exponent. We obtain an improved algorithm whose running time is, within polylogarithmic factors the same as that for multiplying an n× n/t matrix by an n/t × n matrix. We then extend our framework to obtain the first nontrivial (1± ε)approximation algorithms for the number of hcycles in a graph, for any constant h ≥ 3. Our running time is Õ(MM(n,n/t^{1/(h2)},n)), the time to multiply n × n/(t^{1/(h2)}) by n/(t^{1/(h2)) × n matrices. Finally, we show that under popular finegrained hypotheses, this running time is optimal.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2025

Bringmann, Karl ; Grohe, Martin ; Puppis, Gabriele ; Svensson, Ola (Ed.)Recently, a number of variants of the notion of cutpreserving hypergraph sparsification have been studied in the literature. These variants include directed hypergraph sparsification, submodular hypergraph sparsification, general notions of approximation including spectral approximations, and more general notions like sketching that can answer cut queries using more general data structures than just sparsifiers. In this work, we provide reductions between these different variants of hypergraph sparsification and establish new upper and lower bounds on the space complexity of preserving their cuts. Specifically, we show that: 1) (1 ± ε) directed hypergraph spectral (respectively cut) sparsification on n vertices efficiently reduces to (1 ± ε) undirected hypergraph spectral (respectively cut) sparsification on n² + 1 vertices. Using the work of Lee and Jambulapati, Liu, and Sidford (STOC 2023) this gives us directed hypergraph spectral sparsifiers with O(n² log²(n) / ε²) hyperedges and directed hypergraph cut sparsifiers with O(n² log(n)/ ε²) hyperedges by using the work of Chen, Khanna, and Nagda (FOCS 2020), both of which improve upon the work of Oko, Sakaue, and Tanigawa (ICALP 2023). 2) Any cut sketching scheme which preserves all cuts in any directed hypergraph on n vertices to a (1 ± ε) factor (for ε = 1/(2^{O(√{log(n)})})) must have worstcase bit complexity n^{3  o(1)}. Because directed hypergraphs are a subclass of submodular hypergraphs, this also shows a worstcase sketching lower bound of n^{3  o(1)} bits for sketching cuts in general submodular hypergraphs. 3) (1 ± ε) monotone submodular hypergraph cut sparsification on n vertices efficiently reduces to (1 ± ε) symmetric submodular hypergraph sparsification on n+1 vertices. Using the work of Jambulapati et. al. (FOCS 2023) this gives us monotone submodular hypergraph sparsifiers with Õ(n / ε²) hyperedges, improving on the O(n³ / ε²) hyperedge bound of Kenneth and Krauthgamer (arxiv 2023). At a high level, our results use the same general principle, namely, by showing that cuts in one class of hypergraphs can be simulated by cuts in a simpler class of hypergraphs, we can leverage sparsification results for the simpler class of hypergraphs.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2025

Bringmann, Karl ; Grohe, Martin ; Puppis, Gabriele ; Svensson, Ola (Ed.)We show the first nearlinear time randomized algorithms for listing all minimum vertex cuts of polylogarithmic size that separate the graph into at least three connected components (also known as shredders) and for finding the most shattering one, i.e., the one maximizing the number of connected components. Our algorithms break the quadratic time bound by Cheriyan and Thurimella (STOC'96) for both problems that has been unimproved for more than two decades. Our work also removes an important bottleneck to nearlinear time algorithms for the vertex connectivity augmentation problem (Jordan '95) and finding an evenlength directed cycle in a graph, a problem shown to be equivalent to many other fundamental problems (Vazirani and Yannakakis '90, Robertson et al. '99). Note that it is necessary to list only minimum vertex cuts that separate the graph into at least three components because there can be an exponential number of minimum vertex cuts in general. To obtain a nearlinear time algorithm, we have extended techniques in local flow algorithms developed by Forster et al. (SODA'20) to list shredders on a local scale. We also exploit fast queries to a pairwise vertex connectivity oracle subject to vertex failures (Long and Saranurak FOCS'22, Kosinas ESA'23). This is the first application of using connectivity oracles subject to vertex failures to speed up a static graph algorithm.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2025

Bringmann, Karl ; Grohe, Martin ; Puppis, Gabriele ; Svensson, Ola (Ed.)Graph classes of bounded tree rank were introduced recently in the context of the model checking problem for firstorder logic of graphs. These graph classes are a common generalization of graph classes of bounded degree and bounded treedepth, and they are a special case of graph classes of bounded expansion. We introduce a notion of decomposition for these classes and show that these decompositions can be efficiently computed. Also, a natural extension of our decomposition leads to a new characterization and decomposition for graph classes of bounded expansion (and an efficient algorithm computing this decomposition). We then focus on interpretations of graph classes of bounded tree rank. We give a characterization of graph classes interpretable in graph classes of tree rank 2. Importantly, our characterization leads to an efficient sparsification procedure: For any graph class 𝒞 interpretable in a graph class of tree rank at most 2, there is a polynomial time algorithm that to any G ∈ 𝒞 computes a (sparse) graph H from a fixed graph class of tree rank at most 2 such that G = I(H) for a fixed interpretation I. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first efficient "interpretation reversal" result that generalizes the result of Gajarský et al. [LICS 2016], who showed an analogous result for graph classes interpretable in classes of graphs of bounded degree.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2025

Etessami, Kousha ; Feige, Uriel ; Puppis, Gabriele (Ed.)We study the time complexity of the discrete kcenter problem and related (exact) geometric set cover problems when k or the size of the cover is small. We obtain a plethora of new results:  We give the first subquadratic algorithm for rectilinear discrete 3center in 2D, running in Õ(n^{3/2}) time.  We prove a lower bound of Ω(n^{4/3δ}) for rectilinear discrete 3center in 4D, for any constant δ > 0, under a standard hypothesis about triangle detection in sparse graphs.  Given n points and n weighted axisaligned unit squares in 2D, we give the first subquadratic algorithm for finding a minimumweight cover of the points by 3 unit squares, running in Õ(n^{8/5}) time. We also prove a lower bound of Ω(n^{3/2δ}) for the same problem in 2D, under the wellknown APSP Hypothesis. For arbitrary axisaligned rectangles in 2D, our upper bound is Õ(n^{7/4}).  We prove a lower bound of Ω(n^{2δ}) for Euclidean discrete 2center in 13D, under the Hyperclique Hypothesis. This lower bound nearly matches the straightforward upper bound of Õ(n^ω), if the matrix multiplication exponent ω is equal to 2.  We similarly prove an Ω(n^{kδ}) lower bound for Euclidean discrete kcenter in O(k) dimensions for any constant k ≥ 3, under the Hyperclique Hypothesis. This lower bound again nearly matches known upper bounds if ω = 2.  We also prove an Ω(n^{2δ}) lower bound for the problem of finding 2 boxes to cover the largest number of points, given n points and n boxes in 12D . This matches the straightforward nearquadratic upper bound.more » « less

Etessami, Kousha ; Feige, Uriel ; Puppis, Gabriele (Ed.)In [Saunderson, 2011; Saunderson et al., 2013], Saunderson, Parrilo, and Willsky asked the following elegant geometric question: what is the largest m = m(d) such that there is an ellipsoid in ℝ^d that passes through v_1, v_2, …, v_m with high probability when the v_is are chosen independently from the standard Gaussian distribution N(0,I_d)? The existence of such an ellipsoid is equivalent to the existence of a positive semidefinite matrix X such that v_i^⊤ X v_i = 1 for every 1 ⩽ i ⩽ m  a natural example of a random semidefinite program. SPW conjectured that m = (1o(1)) d²/4 with high probability. Very recently, Potechin, Turner, Venkat and Wein [Potechin et al., 2022] and Kane and Diakonikolas [Kane and Diakonikolas, 2022] proved that m ≳ d²/polylog(d) via a certain natural, explicit construction. In this work, we give a substantially tighter analysis of their construction to prove that m ≳ d²/C for an absolute constant C > 0. This resolves one direction of the SPW conjecture up to a constant. Our analysis proceeds via the method of Graphical Matrix Decomposition that has recently been used to analyze correlated random matrices arising in various areas [Barak et al., 2019; Bafna et al., 2022]. Our key new technical tool is a refined method to prove singular value upper bounds on certain correlated random matrices that are tight up to absolute dimensionindependent constants. In contrast, all previous methods that analyze such matrices lose logarithmic factors in the dimension.more » « less